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LI  B  R.AFLY 
OF  THL 

UNIVERSITY 

or  ILLI  NOIS 


cop 


.*5 


HIST.  SURVEY 


DR.   BEECHER'S 


PLEA  FOR  THE  WEST. 


PLEA  FOR  THE  WEST. 


BY  LYMAN  BEECHER,  D.  D. 


Second  Edition. 


CINCINNATI : 
PUBLISHED  BY  TRUMAN  &  SMITH 

NEW- YORK : 

LEAVITT,   LORD  &  CO. 
1835. 


Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1835, 

BY  TRUMAN  &  SMITH, 
In  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  of  Ohio. 


ADVERTISEMENT. 

THE  within  is  a  discourse  recently  delivered  by 
the  writer  in  several  of  the  Atlantic  cities,  while 
on  an  agency  for  the  Cincinnati  Lane  Seminary. 
Those  who  heard  it  will  perceive  that  it  is  as  it 
was  delivered,  with  a  little  enlargement  on  a  few 
points  which  demand  a  more  ample  illustration. 
Cincinnati,  1835. 


1* 


A   PLEA   FOR    THE    WEST. 


Who  hath  heard  such  a  thing?  who  hath  seen  such 
things  1  Shall  the  earth  be  made  to  bring  forth  in  one  day! 
or  shall  a  nation  be  born  at  once  1  for  as  soon  as  Zion  tra- 
vailed, she  brought  forth  her  children.— ISAIAH  Ixvi,  8. 

EVER  since  the  era  of  modern  mis- 
sions, sceptical  men  have  ridiculed  the 
efforts  of  the  church  to  evangelize  the 
world,  and  predicted  their  failure. 
"  What,"  say  they,  "  do  these  Jews 
build  7 — if  a  fox  do  but  go  up  upon  the 
wall,  it  will  fall.  The  world  can  never 
be  converted  to  Christianity  by  the 
power  of  man."  And  full  well  do  we 
know  it,  and  most  deeply  do  we  feel 
it,  and  in  all  our  supplications  for  aid, 


8  DR.  BEECHER'S 

most  emphatically  do  we  confess  our 
utter  impotency ;  and  could  no  power 
but  the  power  of  man  be  enlisted,  it 
would  be  indeed  of  all  experiments  the 
most  ridiculous  and  hopeless.  But  be- 
cause man  cannot  convert  the  world  to 
Christianity,  cannot  God  do  it  ?  Has  he 
not  promised  to  do  it,  and  selected  his 
instruments,  and  commanded  his  people 
to  be  fellow  workers  with  him  7  And 
hath  he  said,  and  shall  he  not  do  it  1 

Instead  of  its  being  a  work  of  diffi- 
culty and  dilatory  movement,  when  the 
time  to  favor  Zion  comes,  it  shall  outrun 
all  past  analogies  of  moral  causes,  as  if 
seed-time  and  harvest  should  meet  on 
the  same  field,  or  a  nation  should  in- 
stantly rush  up  from  barbarism  to  civi- 
lization. 

But  as  all  great  eras  of  prosperity  to 
the  church  have  been  aided  by  the  civil 
condition  of  the  world,  and  accomplished 
by  the  regular  operation  of  moral  causes, 


PLEA   FOR    THE    WEST.  9 

I  consider  the  text  as  a  prediction  of  the 
rapid  and  universal  extension  of  civil 
and  religious  liberty,  introductory  to 
the  triumphs  of  universal  Christianity. 
It  is  certain  that  the  glorious  things 
spoken  of  the  church  and  of  the  world, 
as  affected  by  her  prosperity,  cannot 
come  to  pass  under  the  existing  civil 
organization  of  the  nations.  Such  a 
state  of  society  as  is  predicted  to  per- 
vade the  earth,  cannot  exist  under  an 
arbitrary  despotism,  and  the  predomi- 
nance of  feudal  institutions  and  usa- 
ges. Of  course,  it  is  predicted  that 
revolutions  and  distress  of  nations  will 
precede  the  introduction  of  the  peace- 
ful reign  of  Jesus  Christ  on  the  earth. 
The  mountains  shall  be  cast  down,  and 
the  valleys  shall  be  exalted — and  he 
shall  "  overturn,  and  overturn,  and  over- 
turn, till  he  whose  right  it  is,  shall 
reign  King  of  nations — King  of  saints." 
It  was  the  opinion  of  Edwards,  that 


10  DR.  BEECHER'S 

the  millenium  would  commence  in 
America.  When  I  first  encountered 
this  opinion,  I  thought  it  chimerical ; 
but  all  providential  developments  since, 
and  all  the  existing  signs  of  the  times, 
lend  corroboration  to  it.  But  if  it  is  by 
the  march  of  revolution  and  civil  liber- 
ty, that  the  way  of  the  Lord  is  to  be 
prepared,  wrhere  shall  the  central 
energy  be  found,  and  from  what  nation 
shall  the  renovating  power  go  forth  1 
What  nation  is  blessed  with  such  ex- 
perimental knowledge  of  free  institu- 
tions, with  such  facilities  and  resources 
of  communication,  obstructed  by  so  few 
obstacles,  as  our  own  ?  There  is  not 
a  nation  upon  earth  which,  in  fifty 
years,  can  by  all  possible  reformation 
place  itself  in  circumstances  so  favora- 
ble as  our  own  for  the  free,  unembarras- 
sed applications  of  physical  effort  and 
pecuniary  and  moral  power  to  evange- 
lize the  world. 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  11 

But  if  this  nation  is,  in  the  provi- 
dence of  God,  destined  to  lead  the  way 
in  the  moral  and  political  emancipation 
of  the  world,  it  is  time  she  understood 
her  high  calling,  and  were  harnessed 
for  the  work.  For  mighty  causes,  like 
floods  from  distant  mountains,  are  rush- 
ing with  accumulating  power,  to  their 
consummation  of  good  or  evil,  and  soon 
our  character  and  destiny  will  be  ste- 
reotyped forever. 

It  is  equally  plain  that  the  religious 
and  political  destiny  of  our  nation  is  to 
be  decided  in  the  West.  There  is  the 
territory,  and  there  soon  will  be  the 
population,  the  wealth,  and  the  politi- 
cal power.  The  Atlantic  commerce 
and  manufactures  may  confer  always 
some  peculiar  advantages  on  the  East. 
But  the  West  is  destined  to  be  the  great 
central  power  of  the  nation,  and  under 
heaven,  must  affect  powerfully  the 


12  DR.  BEECHER'S 

cause  of  free  institutions  and  the  liberty 
of  the  world. 

The  West  is  a  young  empire  of 
mind,  and  power,  and  wealth,  and  free 
institutions,  rushing  up  to  a  giant  man- 
hood, with  a  rapidity  and  a  power  never 
before  witnessed  below  the  sun.  And 
if  she  carries  with  her  the  elements  of 
her  preservation,  the  experiment  will  be 
glorious — the  joy  of  the  nation — the 
joy  of  the  whole  earth,  as  she  rises  in 
the  majesty  of  her  intelligence  and  be- 
nevolence, and  enterprise,  for  the  eman- 
cipation of  the  world. 

It  is  equally  clear,  that  the  conflict 
which  is  to  decide  the  destiny  of  the 
West,  will  be  a  conflict  of  institutions 
for  the  education  of  her  sons,  for  pur- 
poses of  superstition,  or  evangelical 
light ;  of  despotism,  or  liberty. 

I  propose  to  consider  in  this  dis- 
course—- 


PLEA    FOR   THE   WEST.  13 

I.  What  is  required  to  secure  the 
civil  and  religious  prosperity  of  the 
West. 

II.  By  whom  it  must  be  done. 

III.  How  it  must  be  done.     And 

IV.  The  motive  to  do  it. 

1.  The  thing  required  for  the  civil 
and  religious  prosperity  of  the  West,  is 
universal  education,  and  moral  culture, 
by  institutions  commensurate  to  that 
result — the   all-pervading   influence  of 
schools,  and  colleges,  and  seminaries, 
and  pastors,  and  churches.     When  the 
West  is  well  supplied  in  this  respect, 
though  there  may  be  great  relative  de- 
fects, there  will  be,  as  we  believe,  the 
stamina  and  the  vitality  of  a  perpetual 
civil  and  religious  prosperity. 

2.  By  whom  shall  the  work  of  rearing 
the  literary  and  religious  institutions  of 
the  West  be  done  7 

Not  by  the  West  alone. 
The  West  is  able  to  do  this  great  work 
2 


14  DR.  BEECHER'S 

for  herself,— and  would  do  it,  provided 
the  exigencies  of  her  condition  allowed 
to  her  the  requisite  time.  The  subject  of 
education  is  no  where  more  appreciated ; 
and  no  people  in  the  same  time  ever 
performed  so  great  a  work  as  has  alrea- 
dy been  performed  in  the  West.  Such 
an  extent  of  forest  never  fell  before  the 
arm  of  man  in  forty  years,  and  gave 
place,  as  by  enchantment,  to  such  an 
empire  of  cities,  and  towns,  and  villages? 
and  agriculture,  and  merchandise,  and 
manufactures,  and  roads,  and  rapid  navi- 
gation, and  schools,  and  colleges,  and 
libraries,  and  literary  enterprise,  with 
such  a  number  of  pastors  and  churches, 
and  such  a  relative  amount  of  religious 
influence,  as  has  been  produced  by  the 
spontaneous  effort  of  the  religious  de- 
nominations of  the  West.  The  later 
peopled  states  of  New-England  did  by 
no  means  come  as  rapidly  to  the  same 
state  of  relative,  intellectual  and  moral 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  15 

culture  as  many  portions  of  the  West 
have  already  arrived  at,  in  the  short 
period  of  forty,  thirty,  and  even  twenty 
years. 

But  this  work  of  self-supply  is  not 
completed,  and  by  no  human  possibility 
could  have  been  completed  by  the  West, 
in  her  past  condition. 

No  people  ever  did,  in  the  first  gene- 
ration, fell  the  forest,  and  construct  the 
roads,  and  rear  the  dwellings  and  public 
edifices,  and  provide  the  competent  sup- 
ply of  schools  and  literary  institutions. 
New-England  did  not.  Her  colleges 
were  endowed  extensively  by  foreign 
munificence,  and  her  churches  of  the 
first  generation  were  supplied  chiefly 
from  the  mother  country ; — and  yet  the 
colonists,  of  New-England  were  few  in 
number,  compact  in  territory,  homoge- 
neous in  origin,  language,  manners,  and 
doctrines ;  and  were  coerced  to  unity 
by  common  perils  and  necessities  ;  and 


16  DR.  BEECHER'S 

could  be  acted  upon  by  immediate  legis- 
lation; and  could  wait  also  for  their 
institutions  to  grow  with  their  growth 
and  strengthen  with  their  strength.  But 
the  population  of  the  great  West  is  not 
so,  but  is  assembled  from  all  the  states 
of  the  Union,  and  from  all  the  nations 
of  Europe,  and  is  rushing  in  like  the  wa- 
ters of  the  flood,  demanding  for  its  moral 
preservation  the  immediate  and  univer- 
sal action  of  those  institutions  which 
discipline  the  mind,  and  arm  the  con- 
science and  the  heart.  And  so  various 
are  the  opinions  and  habits,  and  so  re- 
cent and  imperfect  is  the  acquaintance, 
and  so  sparse  are  the  settlements  of  the 
West,  that  no  homogeneous  public  sen- 
timent can  be  formed  to  legislate  imme- 
diately into  being  the  requisite  institu- 
tions. And  yet  they  are  all  needed  im- 
mediately, in  their  utmost  perfection  and 
power.  A  nation  is  being  "  born  in  a 
day,"  and  all  the  nurture  of  schools  and 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  17 

literary  institutions  is  needed,  constantly 
and  universally,  to  rear  it  up  to  a  glori- 
ous and  unperverted  manhood. 

It  is  no  implication  of  the  West,  that 
in  a  single  generation,  she  has  not  com- 
pleted this  work.  In  the  circumstances 
of  her  condition  she  could  not  do  it ;  and 
had  it  been  done,  we  should  believe  that 
a  miraculous,  and  not  a  human  power 
had  done  it. 

Who  then,  shall  co-operate  with  our 
brethren  of  the  West,  for  the  consumma- 
tion of  this  work  so  auspiciously  begun  ? 
Shall  the  South  be  invoked  ?  The  South 
have  difficulties  of  their  own  to  encoun- 
ter,  and  cannot  do  it ;  and  the  middle 
states  have  too  much  of  the  same  Work 
yet  to  do,  to  volunteer  their  aid  abroad. 

Whence,  then,  shall  the  aid  come, 
but  from  those  portions  of  the  Union 
where  the  work  of  rearing  these  institu- 
tions has  been  most  nearly  accomplish- 
ed, and  their  blessings  most  eminently 
2* 


18  DR.  BEECHER'S 

enjoyed  1  And  by  whom,  but  by  those 
who  in  their  infancy  were  aided ;  and 
who,  having  freely  received,  are  now 
called  upon  freely  to  give,  and  who,  by 
a  hard  soil  and  habits  of  industry  and 
economy,  and  by  experience  are  quali- 
fied to  endure  hardness  as  good  soldiers 
and  pioneers  in  this  great  work  7  And 
be  assured  that  those  who  go  to  the 
West  with  unostentatious  benevolence, 
to  identify  themselves  with  the  people 
and  interests  of  that  vast  community, 
will  be  adopted  with  a  warm  heart  and 
an  unwavering  right  hand  of  fellowship. 

But  how  shall  this  aid  be  extended 
to  our  brethren  of  the  West  in  the  man- 
ner most  acceptable  and  efficacious  1 

Not  by  prayers  and  supplications 
omy,  nor  by  charities  alone,  nor  by  colo- 
nial emigrations ;  for  these,  though  they 
might  cultivate  their  own  garden,  would 
for  obvious  reasons  be  fenced  in,  and 
exert  but  a  feeble  general  influence  be- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  liJ 

yond  their  own  inclosures.  Those  who 
go  out  to  do  good  at  the  West  should  go 
out  to  mingle  with  the  people  of  the 
West,  and  be  absorbed  in  their  multi- 
tude, as  rain  drops  fall  on  the  bosom  of 
the  ocean  and  mingle  with  that  world 
of  waters.* 

*  I  am  happy,  since  my  return,  to  find  myself  so 
ably  sustained  in  this  opinion  by  my  friend  Judge 
Hall,  late  of  Illinois,  whose  long  residence  at  the 
West,  and  extensive  opportunities  for  observation, 
entitle  his  opinions  on  this  subject  to  great  respect. 
In  the  Illinois  Monthly  onjf831,  speaking  of  emigra- 
tion, he  says : — 

"  We  have  heard  lately  of  several  colonies  which 
have  been  formed  in  the  eastern  states,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  emigrating  to  Illinois ;  and  we  always  hear 
such  information  with  regret.  Not  that  we  have  any 
objection  to  emigration  in  itself;  on  the  contrary, 
few  have  done  more  than  we,  to  encpurage  and  pro- 
mote it.  We  ardently  long  to  see  the  fertile  plains 
of  Illinois  covered  with  an  industrious,  an  enterpri- 
sing, and  an  intelligent  population  ;  we  shall  always 
be  among  the  first  to  welcome  the  farmer,  the  me- 
chanic, the  school  teacher — the  working  man,  in 
short,  of  any  trade,  mystery,  or  profession — and  we 


20  DR.  BEECHER'S 

Nor  is  it  by  tracts,  or  Bibles,  or 
itinerating  missions,  that  the  requisite 
intellectual  and  moral  power  can  be 
applied.  There  must  be  permanent, 
powerful,  literary  and  moral  institutions, 
which,  like  the  great  orbs  of  attraction 
and  light,  shall  send  forth  at  once  their 
power  and  their  illumination,  and  with- 
out them  all  else  will  be  inconstant 
and  ephemeral.*  Let  it  not,  however, 

care  not  from  what  point  of  the  compass  he  may 
come ;  but  wish  to  see  them  come  to  Illinois,  with  a 
manly  confidence  in  us,  and 'with  the  feelings,  not  of 
New-Englanders,  or  Pennsylvanians,  but  of  Ameri- 
cans." 

*  In  confirmation  of  these  views,  it  gives  me 
pleasure  to  refer  again  to  Judge  Hall,  in  his  warm 
hearted  eulogy  on  the  friends  of  the  Redeemer  in  an 
eastern  state,  for  their  benevolent  enterprise  and 
munificence  in  aiding  in  the  establishment  of  female 
schools  and  Sabbath  schools  in  the  state  of  Illinois. 
It  is  contained  in  a  letter  to  the  editor  of  the  Sab- 
bath School  Treasury  of  1831. 

"  I  am  happy  to  say  to  you,  that  the  persons  who 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  21 

for  a  moment  be  supposed,  that  the 
schools  of  the  West  are  to  be  sustained 

have  been  induced  by  your  representations  to  re- 
move to  Illinois,  are  generally  well  pleased,  and  are 
doing  well.  The  best  schools  that  we  have  now  in 
Illinois,  are  those  established  by  the  young  ladies 
who  came  out  for  that  purpose.  The  school  at  Ed- 
wardsville,  conducted  by  two  young  ladies,  is  very 
popular,  and  deservedly  so.  The  Vandalia  school 
commenced  with  five  scholars,  a  month  ago,  and  has 
now  thirty -two,  which,  for  a  female  school  in  this 

quarter,  is  quite  encouraging.     Miss  L is  doing 

very  well,  and  is  said  to  be  very  useful  at  Carrollton. 

Miss  S has  gone  to  Hillsborough,  to  keep  an 

infant  school.  There  will  be  several  other  female 
schools  established  shortly. 

"  We  owe  a  debt  of  gratitude  to  the  friends  of  the 
Redeemer  in  Massachusetts,  for  their  great  liberality 
in  providing  us  with  Sabbath  school  books,  which 
we  shall  not  for  many  years  be  able  to  repay.  The 
day  will  assuredly  come,  however,  when  the  doings 
of  the  present  generation  of  Christians  will  be  looked 
back  to  with  feelings  of  admiration  and  gratitude, 
and  when  Illinois  will  remember  Massachusetts  as  a 
benefactor.  '  He  is  ever  merciful  and  lendeth,'  is 
the  language  used  in  Scripture  to  describe  a  good 


22  DR.  BEECHER'S 

by  the  emigration  of  an  army  of  instruc- 
tors from  the  East.  For  though  for  the 
present  necessity,  the  aid  of  qualified  in- 

man;  and  surely  if  .the  lending,  or  giving,  our 
money  or  goods  to  another  is  praiseworthy,  it  is  still 
more  so  to  bestow  intellectual  riches,  and  the  means 
of  Christian  instruction.  For  my  part,  I  feel  grate- 
ful,  and  am  glad  to  have  the  opportunity  of  saying 
so  to  you. 

"  Multitudes  have  assented  to  the  proposition,  that 
Sabbath  schools  are  among  the  most  efficient  means 
of  grace ;  and  other  multitudes  recognize  in  them 
valuable  instruments  for  the  dissemination  of  know- 
ledge and  morality — but  we  are  totally  destitute  of 
the  facilities  for  setting  such  persons  in  motion.  We 
need,  especially,  TEACHERS  and  BOOKS.  The  latter  I 
consider  as  most  imperiously  and  immediately  requi- 
site, because  the  former  may,  in  some  places,  be 
supplied,  while  for  the  books  we  must  at  all  events 
be  indebted  to  you,  or  to  other  of  the  friends  of  hu- 
manity. *  *  *  We  are  also  greatly  in  want  of  teach- 
ers, and  give  to  this  part  of  your  plan  our  cordial 
approbation.  Pious  persons  coming  out  with  this 
intention,  and  having  callings  to  support  them,  need 
be  under  no  fear,  if  frugal  and  industrious,  of  doing 
well." 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  23 

structors  is  not  to  be  repelled,  but  invi- 
ted ;  yet  for  any  permanent  reliance,  it 
is  but  a  drop  of  the  bucket  to  the  ocean. 

Nothing  is  more  certain,  than  that 
the  great  body  of  the  teachers  of  the 
West  must  be  educated  at  the  West.  It 
is  by  her  own  sons  chiefly,  that  the  great 
work  is  to  be  consummated  which  her 
civil,  and  literary,  and  religious  prospe- 
rity demands. 

But  how  shall  the  requisite  supply 
of  teachers  for  the  sons  and  daughters 
of  the  West  be  raised  up  1  It  can  be 
accomplished  by  the  instrumentality  of 
a  learned  and  pious  ministry,  educated 
at  the  West. 

Experience  has  evinced,  that  schools 
and  popular  education,  in  their  best 
estate,  go  not  far  beyond  the  suburbs  of 
the  city  of  God.  All  attempts  to  legis- 
late prosperous  colleges  and  schools  into 
being  without  the  intervening  influence 
of  religious  education  and  moral  prin- 


24  DR.  BEECHER'S 

ciple,  and  habits  of  intellectual  culture 
which  spring  up  in  alliance  with  evan- 
gelical institutions,  have  failed.  Schools 
wane,  invariably,  in  those  towns  where 
the  evangelical  ministry  is  neglected, 
and  the  Sabbath  is  profaned,  and  the 
tavern  supplants  the  worship  of  God. 
Thrift  and  knowledge  in  such  places  go 
out,  while  vice  and  irreligion  come  in. 

But  the  ministry  is  a  central  lumina- 
ry in  each  sphere,  and  soon  sends  out 
schools  and  seminaries  as  its  satellites 
by  the  hands  of  sons  and  daughters  of 
its  own  training.  A  land  supplied  with 
able  and  faithful  ministers,  will  of  course 
be  filled  with  schools,  academies,  libra- 
ries, colleges,  and  all  the  apparatus  for 
the  perpetuity  of  republican  institutions. 
It  always  has  been  so — it  always  will  be. 

But  the  ministry  for  the  West  must 
be  educated  at  the  West.  The  demands 
on  the  East,  for  herself  and  for  pagan 
lands,  forbid  the  East  ever  to  supply  our 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  25 

wants.  Nor  is  it  necessary.  For  the 
Spirit  of  God  is  with  the  churches  of  the 
West,  and  pious  and  talented  young 
men  are  there  in  great  numbers,  willing, 
desiring,  impatient  to  consecrate  them- 
selves to  the  glorious  work.  If  we  pos- 
sessed the  accommodations  and  the 
funds,  we  might  easily  send  out  a  hun- 
dred ministers  a  year — a  thousand  mi- 
nisters in  ten  years — around  each  of 
whom  schools  would  arise,  and  instruc- 
tors multiply,  and  churches  spring  up, 
and  revivals  extend,  and  all  the  ele- 
ments of  civil  and  religious  prosperity 
abound. 

But  we  have  said  that  the  ministry 
for  the  West  must  be  a  learned  and 
talented  ministry. 

No  opinion  is  more  false  and  fatal 
than  that  mediocrity  of  talent  and  learn- 
ing will  suffice  for  the  West.  That  if  ,a 
minister  is  a  good  sort  of  a  man,  but 
somehow  does  not  seem  to  be  popular, 
3 


26  DR.    BEECHEfc'S 

and  find  employment,  he  had  better  go 
to  the  West.  No ;  let  him  stay  at  home ; 
and  if  among  the  urgent  demands  for 
ministerial  labor  here,  he  cannot  find 
employment,  let  him  conclude  that  he 
has  mistaken  his  profession. 

But  let  him  not  go  to  the  West. 
The  men  who,  somehow,  do  not  succeed 
at  the  East,  are  the  very  men  who 
will  succeed  still  less  at  the  West.  If 
there  be  in  the  new  settlements  at  the 
West  a  lack  of  schools  and  educated 
mind,  there  is  no  lack  of  shrewd  and 
vigorous  mind ;  and  if  they  are  not 
deep  read  in  Latin  and  Greek,  they  are 
well  read  in  men  and  things.  On  their 
vast  rivers,  they  go  every  where,  and 
see  every  body,  and  know  every  thing, 
and  judge  with  the  tact  of  perspicacious 
common  sense.  They  are  disciplined 
to  resolution  and  mental  vigor  by  toils 
and  perils,  and  enterprises ;  and  often 
they  are  called  to  attend  as  umpires  to 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  27 

the  earnest  discussions  of  their  most 
able  and  eloquent  men,  which  cannot 
fail  to  throw  prosing  dullness  in  the 
ministry  to  a  hopeless  distance.  No 
where,  if  a  minister  is  deficient,  will 
he  be  more  sure  to  be  "  weighed  in  the 
balance  and  found  wanting."  On  the 
contrary,  there  is  not  a  place  on  earth 
where  piety,  and  talent,  and  learning, 
and  argument,  and  popular  eloquence 
are  more  highly  appreciated,  or  re- 
warded with  a  more  frank  and  enthu- 
siastic admiration.  There  are  chords 
in  the  heart  of  the  West  which  vibrate 
to  the  touch  of  genius,  and  to  the  power 
of  argumentative  eloquence,  with  a 
sensibility  and  enthusiasm  no  where 
surpassed.*  A  hundred  ministers  of 

*  The  following  is  an  extract  from  a  letter  which 
the  author  wrote  to  a  friend  of  Professor  Stowe, 
more  than  a  year  before  this  sermon  was  prepared, 
which  shows  his  views  at  that  time  : 

"  All  your  reasoning  in  favor  of  Professor  Stowe 's 


28  DR.  BEECHER'S 

cultivated  mind  and  popular  eloquence 
might  find  settlement  in  an  hundred 
places,  and  without  the  aid  of  missions, 
and  only  to  increase  the  demand  for  an 
hundred  more. 

Most  unquestionably  the  West  de- 
mands the  instrumentality  of  the  first 
order  of  minds  in  the  ministry,  and 
thoroughly  furnished  minds,  to  com- 
mand attention,  enlighten  the  under- 
standing, form  the  conscience,  and  gain 

better  adaptation  for  New-England  than  for  the 
West  is  founded  in  a  great  and  injurious  mistake 
concerning  the  character  and  condition  of  the 
West.  It  is  a  mistake,  that  the  talents  and  ac- 
quirements of  Mr.  S.  would  not  be  as  highly  and  as 
justly  appreciated  here  as  in  New-England.  A  full 
proportion  of  the  minds  that  are  filling  up  the  new 
states  of  the  West,  are  of  the  first  order  of  intel- 
lectual vigor,  and  often  of  taste  and  learning,  and 
intellectual  action  ;  and  a  large  portion  of  the  peo- 
ple who  are  not  educated,  are  persons  of  shrewd 
tnind,  and  quick  discernment  to  perceive  the  empty 
pretensions  of  men  to  learning  and  talents,  and  will 
respond  respectfully,  yea,  gladly,  to  the  touch  of 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  £3 

the  heart,  and  bring  into  religious  or- 
ganization and  order  the  uncommitted 
mind  and  families  of  the  great  world ; 
and  many  a  man  who  might  guide 
respectfully  a  well-organized  congrega- 
tion here  of  homogeneous  character, 
and  moving  onward  under  the  impetus 
of  long  continued  habits,  might  fail 
utterly  to  call  around  him  the  popula- 
tion of  a  new  country. 

Of  course,  the  institutions  which  are 
to  lead  in  this  great  work  of  rearing  the 

real  talent.  But  Ohio  is  not  a  frontier  state,  or 
Cincinnati  a  new  settlement,  or  the  work  demanded 
here  that  of  a  pioneer.  On  the  contrary,  Cincin- 
nati is  as  really  a  literary  emporium  as  Boston,  and 
is  rapidly  rising  to  an  honorable  competition.  In- 
deed,  at  the  present  time,  I  firmly  believe  that 
there  is,  according  to  the  number  of  her  inhabi- 
tants, as  much  intellectual  and  literary  activity  here 
as  in  Boston,  constituting  an  atmosphere  which  he 
would  breathe  with  great  pleasure,  and  in  which 
his  literary  attainments  would  not  pass  undiscovered 
or  unappreciated." 

3* 


30  DR.  EEECHER'S 

future  ministry  of  the  West  should  be 
second  to  none  in  their  endowments 
and  adaptation  to  this  end.  For  it  is 
such  a  work  in  magnitude  as  human 
instrumentality  was  never  before  con- 
centrated upon.  All  other  nations  have 
gone  up  slowly  from  semi-barbarism  to 
a  civilized  manhood,  while  our  nation 
was  commenced  with  the  best  materi- 
als of  a  nation  at  that  time  the  most 
favored  nation  in  the  world,  and  yet 
was  delayed  in  its  growth,  through  two 
centuries,  by  policy,  and  power,  and 
war,  and  taxation,  and  want  of  capital. 
It  is  less  than  fifty  years  since  our  re- 
sources have  begun  to  be  developed  in 
great  power,  and  we  have  entered  upon 
the  career  of  internal  improvement  and 
national  greatness ;  and  at  the  East, 
until  recently,  these  movements  were 
slow,  as  capital  gradually  increased, 
and  agriculture,  and  commerce,  and 
art  led  the  way.  But  the  West  is  fill- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST. 


31 


ing  up  as  by  ocean  waves ;  and  such  is 
her  prospective  greatness,  that  the 
capital  of  the  East  and  of  Europe  hold 
competition  for  her  acceptance  and  use, 
so  that  in  a  day,  she  is  rising  up  to  the 
high  eminence  that  all  other  nations 
have  approached  progressively  through 
the  revolution  of  centuries. 

But  what  will  become  of  the  West, 
if  her  prosperity  rushes  up  to  such  a 
majesty  of  power,  while  those  great 
institutions  linger  which  are  necessary 
to  form  the  mind,  and  the  conscience, 
and  the  heart  of  that  vast  world.  It 
must  not  be  permitted.  And  yet  what 
is  done  must  be  done  quickly;  for  pop- 
ulation will  not  wait,  and  commerce 
will  not  cast  anchor,  and  manufactures 
will  not  shut  off  the  steam  nor  shut 
down  the  gate,  and  agriculture,  pushed 
by  millions  of  freemen  on  their  fertile 
soil,  will  not  withhold  her  corrupting 
abundance. 

We  must  educate  !     We  must  edu- 


32 

cate  !  or  we  must  perish  by  our  own 
prosperity.  If  we  do  not,  short  from 
the  cradle  to  the  grave  will  be  our 
race.  If  in  our  haste  to  be  rich  and 
mighty,  we  outrun  our  literary  and 
religious  institutions,  they  will  never 
overtake  us ;  or  only  come  up  after 
the  battle  of  liberty  is  fought  and  lost, 
as  spoils  to  grace  the  victory,  and  as 
resources  of  inexorable  despotism  for 
the  perpetuity  of  our  bondage.  And 
let  no  man  at  the  East  quiet  himself, 
and  dream  of  liberty,  whatever  may 
become  of  the  West.  Our  alliance  of 
blood,  and  political  institutions,  and 
common  interests,  is  such,  that  we  can- 
not stand  aloof  in  the  hour  of  her  cala- 
mity, should  it  ever  come.  Her  destiny 
is  our  destiny ;  and  the  day  that  her 
gallant  ship  goes  down,  our  little  boat 
sinks  in  the  vortex  !  . 

It  was  to  meet  these  exigences  of 
our  common  country  in  the  West,  that 
the  Lane  Seminary  was  called  into 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  33 

being  by  the  munificence  of  the  sons  of 
the  West ;  first  by  a  donation  from  the 
two  gentlemen  whose  name  it  bears, 
followed  by  the  gift  of  sixty  acres  of 
land,  on  which  the  institution  is  located, 
by  Mr.  Elnathan  Kemper,  and  the  sale 
of  fifty  more  at  a  reduced  price  and 
long  credit  by  the  same  benefactor ;  to 
which  have  been  added  fifteen  thou- 
sand dollars  by  the  citizens  of  Cincin- 
nati and  the  West,  for  the  construction 
of  two  college  buildings  and  two  pro- 
fessors' houses.  To  this  has  been  ad- 
ded by  our  friends  on  this  side  of  the 
mountains,  twenty  thousand  dollars 
from  one  individual,  for  the  endowment 
of  the  professorship  of  Theology ;  and 
by  others,  thirty  thousand,  for  the  en- 
dowment of  the  two  professorships  of 
Biblical  Literature  and  Ecclesiastical 
History. 

What  we  now  need  is  a  chapel  for 
the  accommodation  of  students  and  a 


34  DR.  EEECHER'S 

fast  increasing  community  with  a  place 
of  worship ;  the  endowment  of  a  pro- 
fessorship of  Sacred  Rhetoric,  and  a 
library.  For  the  first,  we  have  dared 
to  rely  on  our  friends  in  Boston  and  its 
vicinity.  The  library  we  hope  to  re- 
ceive from  our  friends  in  New- York; 
and  for  the  Professorship  of  Sacred 
Rhetoric  we  look  up,  hoping  and  be- 
lieving that  God  will  put  into  the 
heart  of  one  or  more  individuals  to 
endow  it. 

The  motives  which  call  on  us  to 
co-operate  immediately  in  this  glorious 
work  of  consummating  the  institutions 
of  the  West,  essential  to  the  perpetuity 
of  her  greatness  and  glory,  are  neither 
few,  nor  feeble,  nor  obscure. 

The  territory  is  eight  thousand  miles 
in  circumference,  extending  from  the 
Alleghany  to  the  Rocky  mountains,  and 
from  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  to  the  Lakes 
of  the  North  ;  and  it  is  the  largest  ter- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  35 

ritory,  and  most  beneficent  in  climate, 
and  soil,  and  mineral  wealth,  and  com- 
mercial facilities,  ever  prepared  for  the 
habitation  of  man,  and  qualified  to  sus- 
tain in  prosperity  and  happiness  the 
densest  population  on  the  globe.  By 
twenty-four  thousand  miles  of  steam 
navigation,  and  canals  and  rail  roads, 
a  market  is  brought  near  to  every  man, 
and  the  whole  is  brought  into  near 
neighborhood. 

When  I  first  entered  the  West,  its 
vastness  overpowered  me  with  the  im- 
pression of  its  uncontrollable  greatness, 
in  which  all  human  effort  must  be  lost. 
But  when  I  perceived  the  active  inter- 
course between  the  great  cities,  like  the 
rapid  circulation  of  a  giant's  blood ;  and 
heard  merchants  speak  of  just  stepping 
up  to  Pittsburgh — only  six  hundred 
miles — and  back  in  a  few  days;  and 
others  just  from  New-Orleans,  or  St. 
Louis,  or  the  Far  West ;  and  others 
going  thither;  and  when  I  heard  my 


36  DR.  BEECHER'S 

ministerial  brethren  negotiating  ex- 
changes in  the  near  neighborhood — 
only  one  hundred  miles  up  or  down  the 
river — and  going  and  returning  on  Sa- 
turday and  Monday,  and  without  tres- 
passing on  the  Sabbath; — then  did  I 
perceive  how  God,  who  seeth  the  end 
from  the  beginning,  had  prepared  the 
West  to  be  mighty,  and  still  wieldable, 
that  the  moral  energy  of  his  word  and 
spirit  might  take  it  up  as  a  very  little 
thing. 

This  vast  territory  is  occupied  now 
by  ten  states  and  will  soon  be  by  twelve. 
Forty  years  since  it  contained  only 
about  one  hundred  and  fifty  thousand 
souls  ;  while  it  now  contains  little  short 
of  five  millions.  At  the  close  of  this 
century,  if  no  calamity  intervenes,  it 
will  contain,  probably,  one  hundred 
millions — a  day  which  some  of  our 
children  may  live  to  see;  and  when 
fully  peopled,  may  accommodate  three 
hundred  millions.  It  is  half  as  large  as 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  37 

all  Europe,  four  times  as  large  as  the 
Atlantic  states,  and  twenty  times  as 
large  as  New-England.  Was  there 
ever  such  a  spectacle — such  a  field  in 
which  to  plant  the  seeds  of  an  immortal 
harvest ! — so  vast  a  ship,  so  richly  laden 
with  the  world's  treasures  and  riches, 
whose  helm  is  offered  to  the  guiding 
influence  of  early  forming  institutions! 
The  certainty  of  success  calls  us  to 
immediate  effort.  If  we  knew  not  what 
to  do,  if  all  was  effort  and  expense  in 
untried  experiments,  there  might  he 
some  pretext  for  the  paralysis  of  amaze- 
ment and  inaction.  But  we  know  what 
to  do :  the  means  are  obvious,  and  well 
tried,  and  certain.  The  sun  and  the 
rain  of  heaven  are  not  more  sure  to  call 
forth  a  bounteous  vegetation,  than  Bi- 
bles, and  Sabbaths,  and  schools,  and 
seminaries,  are  to  diffuse  intellectual 
light  and  warmth  for  the  bounteous 
fruits  of  righteousness  and  peace.  The 
4 


38  DR.  BEECHER'S 

corn  and  the  acorn  of  the  East  are  not 
more  sure  to  vegetate  at  the  West  than 
the  institutions  which  have  blessed  the 
East  are  to  bless  the  West . 

But  these  all-pervading  orbs  of  illu- 
mination and  centres  of  attraction  must 
be  established.  Such  is  the  gravitating 
tendency  of  society,  that  no  spontaneous 
effort  at  arms-length  will  hold  it  up. 
It  is  by  the  constant  energy  and  strong 
attraction  of  powerful  institutions  only 
that  the  needed  intellectual  and  moral 
power  can  be  applied :  and  the  present 
is  the  age  of  founding  them.  If  this 
work  be  done,  and  well  done,  our  coun- 
try is  safe,  and  the  world's  hope  is  secure. 
The  government  of  force  will  cease,  and 
that  of  intelligence  and  virtue  will  take 
its  place ;  and  nation  after  nation  cheer- 
ed by  our  example,  will  follow  in  our 
footsteps,  till  the  whole  earth  is  free. 
There  is  no  danger  that  our  agriculture 
and  arts  will  not  prosper :  the  danger  is, 


PLEA    FOR   THE   WEST.  39 

that  our  intelligence  and  virtue  will  fal- 
ter and  fall  back  into  a  dark  minded, 
vicious  populace — a  poor,  uneducated 
reckless  mass  of  infuriated  animalism, 
to  rush  on  resistless  as  the  tornado,  or 
to  burn  as  if  set  on  fire  of  hell. 

Until  Europe,  by  universal  educa- 
tion, is  delivered  from  such  masses  of 
feudal  ignorance  and  servitude,  she  sits 
upon  a  volcano,  and  despotism  and  revo- 
lution will  arbitrate  her  destiny. 

Consider,  too,  how  quickly  and  how 
cheaply  the  guarantee  of  a  perpetual 
and  boundless  prosperity  can  be  secur- 
ed. The  West  needs  but  a  momentary 
aid,  when  almost  as  soon  as  received, 
should  it  be  needed,  she  will  repay  and 
quadruple  both  principle  and  interest. 
Lend  a  hand  to  get  up  her  institutions, 
to  give  ubiquity  to  her  schools  and  Sab- 
baths and  sanctuaries,  while  her  forests 
are  falling  and  her  ocean  floods  of  popu- 
lation rolling  in,  and  afterwards  we  will 


40  DR.  BEECHER'S 

not  come  here  to  ask  for  aid ;  for  there 
is  a  wealth  and  chivalrous  munificence 
there,  which,  when  it  has  first  perform- 
ed the  necessary  work  of  self-preserva- 
tion, will  pour  with  you  a  noble  tide  of 
rival  benevolence  into  that  river  which 
is  "  to  make  glad  the  city  of  our  God." 

All  at  the  West,  is  on  a  great  scale, 
and  the  minds  and  the  views  of  the  peo- 
ple correspond  with  these  relative  pro- 
portions. Already,  where  churches  are 
formed,  they  give  more  liberally  than 
churches  of  the  same  relative  condition 
at  the  East ;  and  I  have  no  doubt  the 
time  is  at  the  door,  when  the  abundance 
of  her  means  and  enterprise  will  take 
the  lead  in  those  glorious  enterprises 
which  are  to  emancipate  the  world. 

It  is  not  parsimony  which  renders 
momentary  aid  necessary  to  the  West : 
it  is  want  of  time  and  of  assimilation  for 
the  consciousness  and  wielding  of  her 
powers.  And  how  cheaply  can  the  aid 


PLEA   FOR   THE    WEST.  41 

be  rendered  for  rearing  immediately 
the  first  generation  of  her  institutions  5 
cheaper  than  we  could  rear  the  barracks 
to  accommodate  an  army  for  the  de- 
fence of  our  liberty,  for, a  single  cam- 
paign; cheaper  than  tire  taxations  of 
crime  and  its  punishment  during  the 
same  period,  in  the  absence  of  literary 
and  evangelical  influence. 

Consider,  also,  that  the  miffhty  re- 
sources of  the  West  are  worse  than 
useless,  without  the  supervening  influ- 
ence of  the  government  of  God. 

To  balance  the  temptation  of  such 
unrivaled  abundance,  the  capacity  of 
the  West  for  self-destruction,  without 
religious  and  moral  culture,  will  be  as 
terrific  as  her  capacity  for  self-preserva- 
tion, with  it,  will  be  glorious.  But  all 
the  moral  energies  of  the  government  of 
God  over  men,  are  indissolubly  associa- 
ted with  "  the  ministry  of  reconcilia- 
tion." The  Sabbath,  and  the  preaching 
4* 


42  DR.  BEECHER'S 

of  the  gospel,  are  Heaven's  consecrated 
instrumentality  for  the  efficacious  ad- 
ministration of  the  government  of  mind 
in  a  happy,  social  state.  By  these  only 
does  the  Sun  of  Righteousness  arise  with 
healing  in  his  beams ;  and  ignorance,  and 
vice,  and  superstition  encamp  around 
evangelical  institutions,  to  rush  in  when- 
ever their  light  and  power  is  extinct. 

The  great  experiment  is  now  making, 
and  from  its  extent  and  rapid  filling  up 
is  making  in  the  West,  whether  the  per- 
petuity of  our  republican  institutions 
can  be  reconciled  with  universal  suf- 
frage. Without  the  education  of  the 
head  and  heart  of  the  nation,  they  can- 
not be  ;  and  the  question  to  be  decided 
is,  can  the  nation,  or  the  vast  balance 
power  of  it  be  so  imbued  with  intelli- 
gence and  virtue,  as  to  bring  out,  in 
laws  and  their  administration,  a  perpe- 
tual self-preserving  energy  ?  We  know 
that  the  work  is  a  vast  one,  and  of  great 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  43 

difficulty  ;  and  yet  we  believe  it  can  be 
done. 

We  know  that  we  have  reached  an 
appalling  crisis ;  that  the  work  is  vast 
and  difficult,  and  is  accumulating  upon 
us  beyond  our  sense  of  danger  and  deli- 
berate efforts  to  meet  it.  It  is  a  work 
that  no  legislation  alone  can  reach,  and 
nothing  but  an  undivided,  earnest,  de- 
cided public  sentiment  can  achieve;  and 
that,  too,  not  by  anniversary  resolutions 
and  fourth  of  July  orations,  but  by  well 
systematized  voluntary  associations ; 
counting  the  worth  of  our  institutions, 
the  perils  that  surround  them,  and  the 
means  and  the  cost  of  their  preserva- 
tion, and  making  up  our  minds  to  meet 
the  exigency. 

I  am  aware  that  our  ablest  patriots 
are  looking  out  on  the  deep,  vexed  with 
storms,  with  great  forebodings  and  fail- 
ings of  heart  for  fear  of  the  things  that 
are  coming  upon  us ;  and  I  perceive  a 


44  DR.  BEECHER'S 

spirit  of  impatience  rising,  and  distrust 
in  respect  to  the  perpetuity  of  our  repub- 
lic ;  and  I  am  sure  that  these  fears  are 
well  founded,  and  am  glad  that  they 
exist.  It  is  the  star  of  hope  in  our  dark 
horizon.  Fear  is  what  we  need,  as  the 
ship  needs  wind  on  a  rocking  sea,  after 
a  storm,  to  prevent  foundering.  But 
when  our  fear  and  our  efforts  shall  cor- 
respond with  our  danger,  the  danger  is 
past.  For  it  is  not  the  impossibility  of 
self-preservation  which  threatens  us ; 
nor  is  it  the  unwillingness  of  the  nation 
to  pay  the  price  of  the  preservation,  as 
she  has  paid  the  price  of  the  purchase 
of  our  liberties.  It  is  inattention  and 
inconsideration,  protracted  till  the  cri- 
sis is  past,  and  the  things  which  belong 
to  our  peace  are  hid  from  our  eyes. 
And  blessed  be  God,  that  the  tokens  of 
a  national  waking  up,  the  harbinger  of 
God's  mercy,  are  multiplying  upon  us ! 
There  is  at  the  West  an  enthusias- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  45 

tic  feeling  on  the  subject  of  education 
and  nothing  has  so  inspired  us  with  hope 
as  to  witness  the  susceptibleness  of  the 
East  on  the  same  subject,  and  the  na- 
tional fraternal  benevolence  with  which 
you  are  ready  to  put  forth  a  helping 
hand.  We  have  been  sad,  but  now  we 
are  joyful.  We  see,  we  feel  that  East  and 
West,  and  North  and  South  are  waking 
up  upon  the  subject :  a  redeeming  spirit 
is  rising  which  will  save  the  nation.  We 
did  not,  in  the  darkest  hour,  believe  that 
God  had  brought  our  fathers  to  this 
goodly  land  to  lay  the  foundation  of  reli- 
gious liberty,  and  wrought  such  wonders 
in  their  preservation,  and  raised  their 
descendants  to  such  heights  of  civil  and 
religious  prosperity,  only  to  reverse  the 
analogy  of  his  providence,  and  abandon 
his  work,  and  though  now  there  be  clouds 
and  the  sea  roaring,  and  men's  hearts 
failing,  we  believe  there  is  light  behind 
the  cloud,  and  that  the  eminence  of  our 


46  DR.  BEECHER'S 

danger  is  intended,  under  the  guidance 
of  Heaven,  to  call  forth  and  apply  a 
holy,  fraternal  fellowship  between  the 
East  and  West,  which  shall  secure  our 
preservation,  and  make  the  prosperity 
of  our  nation  durable  as  time,  and  as 
abundant  as  the  waves  of  the  sea. 

I  would  add,  as  a  motive  to  immediate 
action,  that  if  we  do  fail  in  our  great 
experiment  of  self-government,  our  de- 
struction will  be  as  signal  as  the  birth- 
right abandoned,  the  mercies  abused  and 
the  provocation  offered  to  beneficent 
Heave.n.  The  descent  of  desolation  will 
correspond  with  the  past  elevation.  No 
punishments  of  Heaven  are  so  severe 
as  those  for  mercies  abused;  and  no  in- 
strumentality employed  in  their  inflic- 
tion is  so  dreadful  as  the  wrath  of  man. 
No  spasms  are  like  the  spasms  of  expir- 
ing liberty,  and  no  wailings  such  as  her 
convulsions  extort.  It  took  Rome  three 
hundred  years  to  die;  and  our  death,  if 


PLEA   FOR   THE    WEST.  47 

we  perish,  will  be  as  much  more  terrific 
as  our  intelligence  and  free  institutions 
have  given  to  us  more  bone,  and  sinew 
and  vitality.  May  God  hide  me  from  the 
day  when  the  dying  agonies  of  my  coun- 
try shall  begin !  O,  thou  beloved  land 
bound  together  by  the  ties  of  brother- 
hood and  common  interest,  and  perils, 
live  forever — one  and  undivided  ! 

But  whatever  we  do,  it  must  be  done 
quickly:  for  there  is  a  tide  in  human 
things  which  waits  not, — moments  on 
which  the  destiny  of  a  niticn  balances, 
when  the  light  dust  may  turn  the  right 
way  or  the  wrong.  And  such  is  the  con- 
dition of  our  nation  now.  Mighty  influ- 
ences are  bearing  on  us  in  high  conflict, 
for  good  or  for  evil, — for  an  immortality 
of  wo,  or  blessedness;  and  a  slight 
effort  now  may  secure  what  ages  of  re- 
pentance cannot  recover  when  lost, 
and  soon  the  moment  of  our  practical 
preservation  may  have  passed  away. 


48 

We  must  educate  the  whole  nation 
while  we  may.  All — all  who  would 
vote  must  be  enlightened,  and  reached 
by  the  restraining  and  preserving  ener- 
gies of  Heaven.  The  lanes  and  alleys 
— the  highways  and  hedges — the  abodes 
of  filth  and  sordid  poverty  must  be  en- 
tered, and  the  young  immortals  sought 
out,  and  brought  up  to  the  light  of  intel- 
lectual and  moral  daylight.  This  can 
be  done.  God,  if  we  are  prompt  and 
willing,  will  give  us  the  time.  But  if,  in 
this  our  day,  we  neglect  the  things  that 
belong  to  our  peace,  we  shall  find  no 
place  for  repentance,  though  we  seek  it 
carefully  and  with  tears. 

But  the  vast  amount  of  uneducated 
population  in  our  land  already  calls 
upon  us  loudly  to  set  about  the  work  of 
rearing  every  where  the  institutions 
requisite  for  universal  education. 

According  to  the  most  accurate  esti- 
mation which  can  be  obtained,  there 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  49 

are  in  the  United  States  about  a  million 
and  a  half  of  children  without  the  means 
of  education,  and  about  an  equal  number 
,  of  adults,  either  foreigners  or  native 
Americans,  that  are  uneducated.  These 
large  masses  of  unenlightened  mind  lie 
in  almost  every  portion  of  this  nation, 
and  frightful  statistics  have  been  offi- 
cially given  by  legislative  investigation 
in  several  of  our  states.  In  one  of  the 
smaller  eastern  states  there  are  nearly 
thirty  thousand  adults  and  children  that 
cannot  read  or  write.  In  one  of  the 
largest  there  are  four  hundred  thousand 
adults  and  children  who  have  had  no  in- 
struction, and  no  means  provided.  In 
one  of  the  western  states,  one  third  of 
all  the  children  in  the  state  are  destitute 
of  any  provision  for  education.  These 
are  the  states  who  have  taken  the  lead  in 
making  legislative  investigation.  Equal- 
ly appalling  developments  await  many 
of  the  other  states  so  soon  as  they  have 
5 


50  DR.  BEECHER'S 

public  spirit  enough  to  take  the  same 
method  for  information.     Every  where, 
and  in  all  ages,  such  masses  of  ignorance 
are  the  material  of  all  others  most  dan- 
gerous to  liberty ;  for,  as  a  general  fact 
uneducated  mind  is  educated  vice.    But 
the  safety  of  our  republic  depends  upon 
the  intelligence,  and  moral  principle,  and 
patriotism,  and  property  of  the  nation. 
These,  whatever  topical  inflamma- 
tion may  break  out  and  push  on  to  des- 
perate measures,  will  by  a  common  in- 
stinct of  self-preservation  recoil  when 
the  precipice  appears,  and  will  unite  in 
measures  of  common  safety.     But  if  in 
this  moment  of  recoil  there  be  a  popu- 
lace behind, — a  million  of  voters  with- 
out intelligence,  or  conscience,  or  patri- 
otism, or  property,   and  driven  on  by 
demagogues  to  forbid  recoil  and  push  us 
over,  in  a  moment  all  may  be  lost.  Haifa 
million  of  unprincipled,  reckless  voters, 
in  the  hands  of  demagogues,  may,  in 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  51 

our  balanced  elections,  overrule  all  the 
property,  and  wisdom,  and  moral  prin- 
ciple of  the  nation. 

This  danger  from  uneducated  mind 
is  augmenting  daily  by  the  rapid  influx 
of  foreign  emigrants,  the  greater  part 
unacquainted  with  our  institutions,  un- 
accustomed to  self-government,  inac- 
cessible to  education,  and  easily  acces- 
sible to  prepossession,  and  inveterate 
credulity,  and  intrigue,  and  easily  em- 
bodied and  wielded  by  sinister  design. 
In  the  beginning  this  eruption  of  revo- 
lutionary Europe  was  not  anticipated, 
and  we  opened  our  doors  wide  to  the 
influx  and  naturalization  of  foreigners. 
But  it  is  becoming  a  terrific  inundation ; 
it  has  increased  upon  our  native  popu- 
lation from  five  to  thirty-seven  per  cent, 
and  is  every  year  advancing.  It  seeks, 
of  course,  to  settle  down  upon  the  un- 
occupied territory  of  the  West,  and  may 
at  no  distant  day  equal,  and  even  out- 

u.  OF  ILL  ua 


52  DR.  BEECHER'S 

number  the  native  population.  What 
is  to  be  done  to  educate  the  millions 
which  in  twenty  years  Europe  will 
pour  out  upon  us  ?* 

But  what  if  this  emigration,  self- 
moved  and  slow  in  the  beginning,  is 
now  rolling  its  broad  tide  at  the  bidding 
of  the  powers  of  Europe  hostile  to  free 
institutions,  and  associated  in  holy  alli- 
ance to  arrest  and  put  them  down  ?  Is 
this  a  vain  fear  ?  Are  not  the  continen- 
tal powers  alarmed  at  the  march  of 

*  Our  language  precludes  any  reference  in  these 
remarks  to  intelligent,  virtuous,  and  industrious 
emigrants  ;  nor  do  we  fail  to  appreciate  the  many 
high  minded  and  valuable  citizens  among  this  class. 
Neither  are  we- unmindful  of  the  rapid  advance  of 
internal  improvements  from  the  physical  aid  of  the 
poor.  But  the  excellence  and  intelligence  and  value 
of  a  portion,  do  not  avert  the  danger  to  be  appre- 
hended from  the  ignorant  and  vicious  ;  and  the  good 
derived  from  internal  improvements  can  never  be 
an  offset  for  the  moral  and  political  evils  which 
threaten  our  permanent  prosperity  and  liberty. 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  53 

liberal  opinions,  and  associated  to  put 
them  down  ?  and  are  they  not,  with  the 
sickness  of  hope  deferred,  waiting  for 

our  downfall?    It  is  the  light  of  our 

i   „ 

republican  prosperity,  gleaming  in  upon 
their  dark  prison  house,  which  is  inspi- 
ring hope,  and  converting  chains  into 
arms.  It  is  the  power  of  mind,  roused 
by  our  example  from  the  sleep  of  ages 
and  the  apathy  of  despair,  which  is  send- 
ing earthquake  under  the  foundations  of 
their  thrones ;  and  they  have  no  hope 
of  rest  and  primeval  darkness,  but  by 
the  extinction  of  our  light.  By  fleets 
and  armies  they  cannot  do  it.  But  do 
they,  therefore,  sleep  on  their  heaving 
earth  and  tottering  thrones  ?  Has  Met- 
ternich  yet  to  form  an  acquaintance 
with  history  1  Does  he  dream  that 
there  is  but  one  way  to  overturn  repub- 
lics, and  that  by  the  sword  1  Has  he 
yet  to  learn  how  Philip,  by  dividing  her 


54  DR.  BEECHER'S 

councils,  conquered  Greece  7  and  how, 
by  intestine  divisions,  Rome  fell  1 

If  the  potentates  of  Europe  have  no 
design  upon  our  liberties,  what  means 
the  paying  of  the  passage  and  emptying 
out  upon  our  shores  such  floods  of  pau- 
per emigrants — the  contents  of  the  poor- 
house  and  the  sweepings  of  the  streets  ? 
— multiplying  tumults  and  violence,  fill- 
ing our  prisons,  and  crowding  our  poor- 
houses,  and  quadrupling  our  taxation, 
and    sending    annually    accumulating 
thousands  to  the  polls  to  lay  their  inex- 
perienced hand  upon  the  helm  of  our 
power  ?     Does  Metternich  imagine  that 
there   is  no  party  spirit  in  our   land, 
whose  feverish  urgency  would  facilitate 
their  naturalization  and  hasten  them  to 
the  ballot  box  7— and  no  demagogues, 
who  for  a  little  brief  authority,  however 
gained,    would    sell   their   country    to 
an  everlasting  bondage  ?     A  foreign  in- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  55 

fluence  acting  efficaciously  on  the  coun- 
cils of  a  republic,  has  always  been  re- 
garded and  always  proved  itself  to  be 
among  the  most  fatal  to  liberty.  But 
in  no  form  can  it  assume  such  power  as 
in  the  form  of  a  consolidated  mass  of 
alien  voters,  to  balance  in  contested 
elections  the  suffrages  of  the  nation ; 
rendering  foreigners  the  most  favored 
and  most  courted  people,  and  giving  an 
easy  predominance  to  foreign  influence 
in  our  national  councils.  The  wily  po- 
litician does  not  sleep  over  our  prospe- 
rity, or  despair  of  our  overthrow.  But 
he  exults  full  of  hope  that  we  sleep 
while  he  is  sowing  with  broad  cast 
among  us  the  elements  of  future  strife, 
and  preparing  our  ruin  by  the  only 
means  by  which  republics  have  ever 
fallen. 

It  is  the  testimony  of  American  tra- 
velers, that  the  territorial,  civil  and  ec- 
clesiastical statistics  of  our  country,  and 


56  DR.  BEECHER'S 

the  action  and  bearing  of  political  causes 
upon  our  institutions,  are  more  familiar 
at  Rome  and  Vienna,  than  with  us ; 
and  that  tracts  and  maps  are  in  circu- 
lation, explanatory  of  the  capacious 
West,  and  pointing  out  the  most  fertile 
soils  and  most  favored  locations,  and 
inviting  to  emigration.  These  means 
of  a  stimulated  expatriation  are  corro- 
borated by  the  copious  and  rapidly  in- 
creasing correspondence  of  those  who 
have  already  arrived,  and  the  increas- 
ing facilities  of  transportation. 

But  if,  upon  examination,  it  should 
appear  that  three-fourths  of  the  foreign 
emigrants  whose  accumulating  tide  is 
rolling  in  upon  us,  are,  through  the  me- 
dium of  their  religion  and  priesthood,  as 
entirely  accessible  to  the  control  of 
the  potentates  of  Europe  as  if  they 
were  an  army  of  soldiers,  enlisted  and 
officered,  and  sjpreading  over  the  land ; 
then,  indeed,  should  we  have  just  occa- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  57 

sion  to  apprehend  danger  to  our  liberties. 
It  would  be  the  union  of  church  and 
state  in  the  midst  of  us.  The  church 
and  the  state  both  in  Europe,  and  the 
pliant  colonial  church  here.  Her  priest- 
hood educated  under  the  despotic 
governments  of  Catholic  Europe,  and 
dependent  for  their  office,  support  and 
honors  upon  a  foreign  temporal  prince, 
on  whose  sanction  to  their  laws  and 
doings  they  are  as  dependent  as  the 
colonies  were  upon  George  the  Third,* 
and  this  prince,  too,  elected  by  Austrian 
influence  and  sustained  by  Austrian 
bayonets,  and  of  course  subservient  to 
Austrian  policy  :|  a  priesthood  not 

*  In  the  account  of  the  last  convocation  or  coun- 
cil of  the  Catholic  church  in  the  United  States,  sent 
to  Europe,  they  say :  "  It  was  not  thought  proper  to 
publish  its  acts  until  they  had  been  approved  at 
Rome,  whither  they  had  been  sent. — Quarterly 
Register,  vol.  3,  p.  96. 

•f  Lest  the  charge  should  seem  gratuitous,  of  the 
pope  being  the  creature  of  Austria,  it  may  be  well 


58  DR.  BEECHER'S 

elected  by  their  people,  or  dependent 
on  them  during  good  behavior,  or 
accountable  to  them  for  their  deeds, 
but  dependent  on  a  foreign  jurisdiction, 

to  subjoin  the  language  of  an  intelligent  American 
who  was  in  Rome  during  the  deliberations  of  the 
conclave  respecting  the  election  of  the  present  pon- 
tiff. He  says : 

"  It  was  interesting  to  hear  the  speculations  of 
the  Italians  on  the  probability  of  this  or  that  cardi- 
nal's election.  Couriers  were  daily  arriving  from 
the  various  despotic  powers,  and  intrigues  were  rife 
in  the  ante-chambers  of  the  Quirinal  palace ;  now  it 
was  said  that  Spain  would  carry  her  candidate,  now 
Italy,  and  now  Austria,  and  when  cardinal  Capel- 
lani  was  proclaimed  pope,  the  universal  cry,  mixed 
too  with  low-muttered  curses,  was,  that  Austria  had 
succeeded.  The  new  pope  had  scarcely  chosen 
his  title  of  Gregory  XVI.,  and  passed  through  the 
ceremonies  of  coronation,  before  the  revolution  in 
his  states  gave  him  the  opportunity  of  calling  in 
Austria  to  take  possession  of  the  patrimony  of  St. 
Peter,  which  his  own  troops  could  not  keep  for  an 
hour  ;  and  at  this  moment  Austrian  soldiers  hold 
the  Roman  legions  in  subjection  to  the  cabinet  of 
Vienna.  Is  not  the  pope  a  creature  of  Austria  ?" 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  59 

and  to  a  great  extent  on  foreign  pa- 
tronage. This  would,  indeed,  be  a 
church  and  state  union — another  na- 
tion within  the  nation — the  Greek  in 
the  midst  of  Troy. 

The  simple  fact,  that  the  clergy  of 
the  Catholic  denomination  could  wield 
in  mass  the  suffrage  of  their  confiding 
people,  could  not  fail,  in  the  competi- 
tion of  ambition  and  party  spirit,  to 
occasion  immediately  an  eager  compe- 
tition for  their  votes,  placing  them  at 
once  in  the  attitude  of  the  most  favored 
sect;  securing  the  remission  of  duties 
on  imported  church  property,  and  copi- 
ous appropriations  of  land  for  the  en- 
dowment of  their  institutions ;  shielding 
them  from  animadversion  by  the  sensi- 
tiveness of  parties  on  account  of  their 
political  ends ;  and  turning  against 
their  opponents,  and  in  favor  of  Ca- 
tholics, the  patronage  and  the  tremen- 
dous influence  of  the  administration, 


60  DR.  BEECHER'S 

whose  ascendency  and  continuance 
might,  in  closely  contested  elections, 
be  thought  to  depend  on  Catholic  suf- 
frage. Should  it  be  asserted  that  the 
clergy  of  every  denomination,  can  or  do 
exert  as  decisive  a  political  influence 
over  their  people  as  the  Catholic  clergy, 
the  assertion  is  notoriously  untrue. 

The  ministers  of  no  Protestant  sect 
could  or  would  dare  to  attempt  to  regu- 
late the  votes  of  their  people  as  the 
Catholic  priests  can  do,  who  at  the 
confessional  learn  all  the  private  con- 
cerns of  their  people,  and  have  almost 
unlimited  power  over  the  conscience 
as  it  respects  the  performance  of  every 
civil  or  social  duty.. 

There  is  another  point  of  dissimi- 
larity of  still  greater  importance.  The 
opinions  of  the  Protestant  clergy  are 
congenial  with  liberty — they  are  cho- 
sen by  the  people  who  have  been  edu- 
cated as  freemen,  and  they  are  depen- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  61 

dent  on  them  for  patronage  and  support. 
The  Catholic  system  is  adverse  to 
liberty,  and  the  clergy  to  a  great  extent 
are  dependent  on  foreigners  opposed  to 
the  principles  of  our  government,  for 
patronage  and  support. 

Nor  is  this  all — the  secular  patro- 
nage at  the  disposal  of  an  associated 
body  of  men,  who  under  the  influence 
of  their  priesthood  may  be  induced  to 
act  as  one,  for  those  who  favor  and 
against  those  who  oppose  them,  would 
enable  them  to  touch  far  and  wide 
the  spring  of  action  through  our  cities 
and  through  the  nation.  How  many 
presses  might  they  influence  by  their 
promised  patronage  or  threatened  with- 
drawrnent  ?  How  many  mechanics, 
merchants,  lawyers,  physicians,  in  any 
political  crisis,  might  they  reach  and  ren- 
der timid,  and  temporizing,  and  prudent 
not  to  say  sturdy,  eulogists  of  Catho- 
lics, lest  they  should  lose  the  patronage 
of  a  sect,  who  alone  can  yield  a  pa- 
6 


62 

tronage  to  favor  or  to  punish  those  who 
favor  or  obstruct  their  views.  And  if 
while  they  are  few  and  feeble,  compared 
with  the  whole  nation,  their  consolida- 
ted action  gives  them  such  various  and 
extended  influence,  how  will  its  power 
extend  and  become  omnipresent  and 
resistless  as  emigration  shall  quadruple 
their  numbers  and  action  on  the  po- 
litical and  business  men  of  the  na- 
tion? 

No  government  is  more  complex  and 
difficult  of  preservation  than  a  republic, 
and  in  no  political  associations  do  little 
adverse  causes  produce  more  disastrous 
results.  Of  all  the  influences,  none  is 
more  pernicious  than  a  corps  of  men 
acting  systematically  and  perseveringly 
for  its  own  ends  upon  a  community  un- 
apprized  of  their  doings,  and  undisci- 
plined to  meet  and  counteract  them.  A 
tenth  part  of  the  suffrage  of  the  nation, 
thus  condensed  and  wielded  by  the 
Catholic  powers  of  Europe,  might  de- 


PLEA     FOR    THE    WEST.  OO 

cide  our  elections,  perplex  our  policy, 
inflame  and  divide  the  nation,  break  the 
bond  of  our  union,  and  throw  down  our 
free  institutions.  The  voice  of  history 
also  warns  us,  that  no  sinister  influence 
has  ever  intruded  itself  into  politics,  so 
virulent  and  disastrous  as  that  of  an  am- 
bitious ecclesiastical  influence,  or  which 
demands,  now  and  always,  keener  vigi- 
lance or  a  more  active  resistance. 

But  before  I  proceed,  to  prevent 
misapprehension,  I  would  say  that  I 
have  no  fear  of  the  Catholics,  consider- 
ed simply  as  a  religious  denomination, 
and  unallied  to  the  church  and  state 
establishments  of  the  European  govern- 
ments hostile  to  republican  institutions. 

Let  the  Catholics  mingle  with  us  as 
Americans  and  come  with  their  chil- 
dren under  the  full  action  of  our  com- 
mon schools  and  republican  institutions, 
and  the  various  powers  of  assimilation, 
and  we  are  prepared  cheerfully  to  abide 


64  DR.  BEECHER'S 

the  consequences.  If  in  these  circum- 
stances the  Protestant  religion  cannot 
stand  before  the  Catholic,  let  it  go  down, 
and  we  will  sound  no  alarm,  and  ask 
no  aid,  and  make  no  complaint.  It  is 
no  ecclesiastical  quarrel  to  which  we 
would  call  the  attention  of  the  Ameri- 
can nation. 

Nor  would  I  consent  that  the  civil 
and  religious  rights  of  the  Catholics 
should  be  abridged  or  violated.  As  na- 
turalized citizens,  to  all  that  we  enjoy 
we  bid  them  welcome,  and  would  have 
their  property  and  rights  protected  with 
the  same  impartiality  and  efficacy  that 
the  property  and  rights  of  every  other 
denomination  are  protected ;  and  we 
should  abhor  the  interposition  of  lawr- 
less  violence  to  injure  the  property  or 
control  the  rights  of  Catholics  as  vehe- 
mently as  if  it  were  directed  against 
Protestants  and  their  religion.  For  when 
the  day  comes  that  lawless  force  pre- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  DO 

vails,  argument  and  free  inquiry  are 
ended,  and  law  and  courts  are  impotent 
and  useless,  and  liberty  is  extinct,  and 
anarchy  by  its  terrors  will  compel  men  to 
call  in  the  protection  of  despotic  power 
to  save  them  from  the  pursuing  hell. 
The  late  violence  done  to  Catholic  pro- 
perty at  Charlestown  is  regarded  with 
regret  and  abhorrence  by  Protestants 
and  patriots  throughout  the  land,  though 
the  excitement  which  produced  it  had 
no  relation  whatever  to  religious  opin- 
ions, and  no  connection  with  any  reli- 
gious denomination  of  Christians. 

We  are  equally  opposed  to  any  at- 
tempt to  cast  odium  upon  Catholics  of 
the  present  generation  for  any  maxims, 
doctrines  or  practices  of  past  ages,  which 
are  now  by  the  competent  authority  of 
the  pope  or  a  general  council  disavowed. 
But  for  all  the  political  bearings  of  their 
unchangeable  and  infallible  creed,  and 
for  all  the  deeds  of  persecution  and 
6* 


66  DR.  BEECHER'S 

blood,  JUSTIFIED  BY  THEIR  PRINCIPLES  and 

perpetuated  by  Catholic  powers,  and  not 
disavowed  by  his  holiness  or  by  a  council, 
THE  CATHOLIC  CHURCH  is  ACCOUNTABLE, 
whatever  may  be  the  personal  opinion 
of  particular  individuals  or  particular 
departments  of  that  great  community. 
In  our  animadversions,  however, 
even  on  these  things,  a  declamatory, 
virulent,  contemptuous,  sarcastic,  taunt- 
ing, denunciatory  style  is  as  unchristian 
as  it  is  in  bad  taste  and  indiscreet.  The 
invidious  technics  of  the  old  controversy 
have  gone  into  oblivion,  and  it  is  impos- 
sible to  bring  back  the  image  and  body 
of  the  times  gone  by  as  they  stood  in 
dreadful  reality  around  our  persecuted 
fathers;  and  however  the  urgency  of 
oppression  in  a  rough  age  may  palliate 
the  use  of  such  terms  by  them,  sound 
argument  with  meek  firmness  had  been 
better  even  then  :  and  it  is  one  of  the 
most  hopeful  signs  of  the  present  times, 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  67 

that  public  sentiment  demands  such 
courtesy  of  all  religious  controvertists 
now,  and  will  not  endure  a  dialect  of 
rudeness,  ill-temper  and  violence.  If 
the  reaction  upon  Catholics  for  the  use 
of  such  language  is  not  as  stern  and 
powerful  as  on  Protestants,  it  is  only 
because  as  strangers  and  a  minority, 
more  aggressive  language  will  be  tole- 
rated in  them  than  the  Protestant  ma- 
jority will  be  permitted  to  hurl  back ; 
while  even  they,  in  the  use  of  invidious 
terms,  and  the  manifestation  of  a  viru- 
lent, discourteous  arid  contemptuous 
spirit,  are  fast  using  up  both  the  sympa- 
thy and  patience  of  the  community  in 
their  behalf. 

Besides,  the  Catholics  in  great  num- 
bers are  with  us,  and  their  increase  by 
emigration,  if  it  can  be  regulated,  can 
never  be  wholly  prevented.  Our  rich 
unoccupied  territory,  our  national  works 
and  their  poverty  and  oppression  at  home 


68  DR.  BEECHER'S 

will  as  certainly  bring  over  adven  turers 
as  a  vacuum  will  call  in  the  circumjacent 
atmosphere ;  and  it  is  impossible  to  avert 
the  danger  from  so  much  exile  popula- 
tion but  by  a  friendly  approximation,  and 
the  ubiquity  and  powerful  illumination 
of  our  institutions,  and  the  overcoming 
influence  of  Christian  enterprise  and 
Christian  love.  It  is  not  the  striking  of 
the  fist  which  will  disarm  them,  but 
words  and  acts  of  kindness  and  the  warm 
beating  of  our  heart;  while  contemptu- 
ous treatment  will  augment  their  hatred 
of  Protestants,  and  rivet  their  preju- 
dice, and  deliver  them  over  double 
bound  to  the  power  of  their  priesthood, 
already  too  great  for  their  happiness 
and  our  safety. 

In  this  view  of  the  subject,  I  cannot 
but  regret  the  manner  in  which  the  con- 
troversy between  the  Catholics  and  Pro- 
testants has  in  various  instances  been 
conducted,  in  which  the  style  and  temper 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  69 

as  the  means  of  doing  good,  were  the 
very  worst  that  could  have  been  chosen, 
and  the  very  best  as  the  means  of  aiding 
the  cause  they  were  intended  to  oppose. 
Important  facts  and  powerful  argu- 
ments have  been  given,  but  so  mingled 
with  invective  and  taunt,  and  sarcasm, 
and  reviling,  as  to  injure  the  cause  as 
much  by  the  disgust  occasioned,  as  it 
was  aided  by  the  power  of  argument. 

It  is  to  the  political  claims  and  cha- 
racter of  the  Catholic  religion,  and  its 
church  and  state  alliance  with  the  po- 
litical and  ecclesiastical  governments  of 
Europe  hostile  to  liberty,  and  the  ten- 
dency upon  our  republican  institutions 
of  flooding  the  nation  suddenly  with 
emigrants  of  this  description,  on  whom 
for  many  years  European  influence 
may  be  exerted  writh  such  ease,  and 
certainty,  and  power,  that  we  call  the 
attention  of  the  people  of  this  nation. 
Did  the  Catholics  regard  themselves 


70  DR.  BEECHER'S 

only  as  one  of  many  denominations  of 
Christians,  entitled  only  to  equal  rights 
and  privileges,  there  would  be  no  such 
cause  for  apprehension  while  they 
peaceably  sustained  themselves  by  their 
own  arguments  and  well  doing.  But  if 
Catholics  are  taught  to  believe  that 
their  church  is  the  only  church  of  Christ, 
out  of  whose  inclosure  none  can  be 
saved, — -that  none  may  read  the  Bible 
but  by  permission  of  the  priesthood  and 
no  one  be  permitted  to  understand  it  and 
worship  God  according  to  the  dictates 
of  his  own  conscience, — that  heresy  is  a 
capital  offence  not  to  be  tolerated,  but 
punished  by  the  civil  power  with  dis- 
franchisement,  death  and  confiscation  of 
goods, — that  the  pope  and  the  councils  of 
the  church  are  infallible,  and  her  rights 
of  ecclesiastical  jurisdiction  universal 
and  as  far  as  possible  and  expedient  may 
be  of  right,  and  ought  to  be  as  a  matter 
of  duty,  enforced  by  the  civil  power, — 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  71 

that  to  the  pope  belongs  the  right  of  in- 
terference with  the  political  concerns 
of  nations,  enforced  by  his  authority 
over  the  consciences  of  Catholics,  and 
his  power  to  corroborate  or  cancel  their 
oath  of  allegiance,  and  to  sway  them  to 
obedience  or  insurrection  by  the  power 
of  life  or  death  eternal :  if  such,  I  say, 
are  the  maxims  avowed  by  her  pontiff^ 
sanctioned  by  her  councils,  stereotyped  on 
her  ancient  records,  advocated  by  her 
most  approved  authors,  illustrated  in  all 
ages  by  her  history,  and  still  UNREPEALED 
and  still  acted  upon  in  the  armed  pro- 
hibition of  free  inquiry  and  religious 
liberty,  and  the  punishment  of  heresy 
wherever  her  power  remains  unbro- 
ken :  if  these  things  are  so,  is  it  invi- 
dious and  is  it  superfluous  to  call  the 
attention  of  the  nation  to  the  bearing 
of  such  a  denomination  upon  our  civil 
and  religious  institutions  and  equal 
rights  ?  It  is  the  right  of  SELF-PRESER- 


72  DR.  BEECHER'S 

VATTON,  and  the  denial  of  it  is  TREASON 

Or  the?  INFATUATION  OP  FOLLY. 

It  is  the  duty  also  enforced  by  the 
unparalleled  novelty  and  urgency  of  our 
condition  ;  for  since  the  irruption  of  the 
northern  barbarians,  the  world  has 
never  witnessed  such  a  rush  of  dark- 
minded  population  from  one  country  to 
another,  as  is  now  leaving  Europe,  and 
dashing  upon  our  shores.  It  is  not  the 
northern  hive,  but  the  whole  hive  which 
is  swarming  out  upon  our  cities  and 
unoccupied  territory  as  the  effect  of 
overstocked  population,  of  civil  oppres- 
sion, of  crime  and  poverty,  and  political 
and  ecclesiastical  design.  Clouds  like 
the  locusts  of  Egypt  are  rising  from  the 
hills  and  plains  of  Europe,  and  on  the 
wings  of  every  wind,  are  coming  over 
to  settle  down  upon  our  fair  fields ; 
while  millions,  moved  by  the  noise  of 
their  rising  and  cheered  by  the  news  of 
their  safe  arrival  and  green  pastures, 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  73 

are  preparing  for  flight  in  an  endless 
succession. 

Capitalists  and  landholders,  who  feel 
in  Europe  the  premonitions  of  coming 
evil  are  transferring  their  treasures  to 
our  funds,  and  making  large  investments 
in  land,  and  facilitating  emigration  to 
augment  the  value  of  their  property. 
Our  unoccupied  soil  is  coming  fast  into 
the  European  market,  and  foreign  capi- 
talists and  speculators  are  holding  com- 
petition with  our  own.  So  that,  were 
there  no  political  and  no  ecclesiastical 
ends  to  be  accomplished,  the  rapid  in- 
flux upon  us  of  such  masses  of  uneduca- 
ted mind  of  other  tongues  and  habits 
would  itself  alone  demand  an  immediate 
and  earnest  national  supervision,  on  the 
same  principles  of  self-preservation  that 
would  dyke  out  the  ocean  or  turn  the 
mountain  torrent  from  carrying  deso- 
lation over  our  fields.  For  the  causes 
are  mighty  and  radical  which  threaten 
7 


74  DR.  BEECHER'S 

us  :  while  the  peculiarity  of  our  organ- 
ization in  national  and  state  govern- 
ments gives  potency  to  their  action 
and  imbecility  to  our  resistance. 

But  if  this  tremendous  tide  of  Europe- 
an emigration  is  from  two-thirds  to  three 
quarters  of  it  under  the  direction  of  the 
feudal  potentates  of  Europe,  associated 
to  put  down  at  home  and  abroad  the 
liberal  institutions  of  the  world,  and  to 
reach  us  are  availing  themselves  of  a 
religion  which  has  always  sustained 
their  thrones  and  been  sustained  by 
them — despotic  in  its  constitution  and 
doctrines,  and  in  all  ages  found  in  the 
ranks  of  despotism,  contending  against 
the  civil  and  religious  rights  of  man — 
a  religion  which  extinguished  the  lin- 
gering remains  of  Roman  liberty,  and 
warred  for  thirty  years  against  the 
resurrection  of  civil  and  religious  lib- 
erty in  modern  Europe,  and  holds 
now  the  mind  in  unmitigated  bondage 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  75 

wherever  its  power  is  unbroken,  and  is 
the  mainstay  of  opposition  to  the  efforts 
of  European  patriots  to'  break  the  yoke 
and  ameliorate  the  condition  of  man; 
if  this  religion  is  rising  in  the  midst  of 
us,  by  floods  of  annual  emigration,  by 
its  undivided  suffrage  to  balance  our 
elections  and  sway  our  destiny,  and  by 
the  aid  of  royal  munificence  to  endow 
our  institutions,  and  by  underbidding 
and  gratuitous  instruction  to  monopo- 
lize the  education  of  the  coming  gene- 
rations,— why  should  we  shut  our  eyes, 
and  stop  our  ears,  and  cry,  Peace,  while 
destruction  is  coming  ? 

There  is  no  despotism  so  terrible  as 
a  popular  despotism  under  the  names 
and  forms  of  liberty,  where  ignorance 
and  prejudice, and  passion  and  irreligion, 
and  crime  are  wielded  by  desperate  po- 
litical ambition  and  a  corrupting  for- 
eign influence ;  and  if  ever  our  liberties 
perish,  it  will  be  by  the  explosion  of  the 


76  DR.  BEECHER'S 

volcanic  power  of  the  European  and 
American  populace,  and  foreign  influ- 
ence and  American  demagogues  in  bad 
alliance,  who  will  ride  in  the  whirlwind 
and  direct  the  storm.  This  I  am  aware 
is  strong  language.  But  strong  lan- 
guage is  demanded ;  for  this  giant  nation 
sleepeth  and  must  be  awaked.  For 
obvious  and  imminent  as  is  the  danger, 
its  development  is  recent,  and  the  ac- 
tion of  it  on  many  minds  is  prevented 
by  a  multitude  of  careless,  common- 
place, fallacious  maxims  pouring  con- 
tempt on  fear  and  holding  the  commu- 
nity spell-bound ;  some  of  which  I  must 
note  and  expose. 

It  is  nothing  but  a  controversy  about 
religion,  it  is  said — a  thing  which  has 
nothing  to  do  with  the  liberty  and  pros- 
perity of  nations,  and  the  sooner  it  is 
banished  from  the  world  the  better. 

As  well  might  it  be  insisted  that  the 
sun  has  no  influence  on  the  solar  sys- 


PLEA   FOR    THE    WEST.  77 

tern,  or  the  moon  on  the  tides.  In  all 
ages,  religion,  of  some  kind,  has  been 
the  former  of  man's  character  and  the 
mainspring  of  his  action.  It  has  done 
more  to  fill  up  the  eventful  page  of  his- 
tory, than  all  moral  causes  beside.  It 
has  been  the  great  agitator  or  tranquil- 
izer  of  nations, — the  orb  of  darkness 
or  of  light  to  the  world, — the  fountain 
of  purity  or  pollution, — the  mighty  pow- 
er of  riveting  or  bursting  the  chains 
of  men.  Atheists  may  rage  and  blas- 
pheme, but  they  cannot  expel  religion 
of  some  kind  from  the  world.  Their 
epidemic  madness,  like  the  volcano, 
may  at  times  break  out,  and  obscure 
the  sun,  and  turn  the  moon  into  blood, 
and  extend  from  nation  to  nation  the 
cup  of  God's  displeasure,  covering  the 
earth  with  the  slain  and  the  fragments 
of  demolished  inst  ilutions.But  it  can 
reconstruct  nothing.  It  must  be  tem- 
porary, or  it  would  empty  the  earth  of 
7* 


78  DR.  BEECHER'S 

its  inhabitants.  It  will  be  temporary, 
because  so  bright  are  the  evidences  of 
a  superior  power,  and  so  frail  and  full 
of  sorrow  are  men.  and  so  guilty  and 
full  of  fears,  that  if  Christianity  does 
not  guide  them  to  the  true  God  and 
Jesus  Christ,  superstition  will  send  them 
to  the  altars  of  demons. 

But  it  is  a  contest,  it  is  said,  about 
religion — and  religion  and  politics  have 
no  sort  of  connection.  Let  the  religion- 
ists fight  their  own  battles ;  only  keep 
the  church  and  state  apart,  and  there  is 
no  danger. 

It  is  a  union  of  church  and  state, 
which  we  fear,  and  to  prevent  which  we 
lift  up  our  voice  :  a  union  which  never 
existed  without  corrupting  the  church 
and  enslaving  the  people,  by  making  the 
ministry  independent  of  them  and  de- 
pendent on  -the  state,  and  to  a  great 
extent  a  sinecure  aristocracy  of  indo- 
lence and  secular  ambition,  auxiliary  to 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  79 

the  throne  and  inimical  to  liberty.  No 
treason  against  our  free  institutions 
would  be  more  fatal  than  a  union  of 
church  and  state ;  none,  when  perceived 
would  bring  on  itself  a  more  overwhelm- 
ing public  indignation,  and  which  all 
Protestant  denominations  would  resist 
with  more  loathing  and  abhorrence. 

And  is  there,  therefore,  no  danger 
of  a  church  and  state  union,  because 
all  denominations  cannot  unite,  and  no 
one  can  elude  the  vigilant  resistance  of 
the  rest?  Is  there  no  other  door  at 
which  the  innovation  can  come  in? 
How  has  the  union  been  constituted  in 
times  past?  Not  as  coveted  by  the 
church,  and  secured  by  her  artifice  or 
power ;  but  as  coveted  by  the  state,  and 
sought  for  purposes  of  secular  ambition 
to  strengthen  the  arm  of  despotic  power. 
It  was  Constantine  who  invited  the 
church  into  an  alliance  with  the  state, 
— nay,  forced  upon  her  the  corrupting 


80  DR.  BEECHER'S 

honor.  It  was  the  kings  of  the  earth 
who  gave  their  protection  to  a  despotic 
form  of  corrupted  Christianity;,  from 
which,  when  the  power  of  superstition 
overmastered  the  sceptre,  they  have 
been  taking  it  away. 

But  in  republics  the  temptation  and 
the  facilities  of  courting  an  alliance 
with  church  power  may  be  as  great  as 
in  governments  of  less  fluctuation.  Amid 
the  competitions  of  party  and  the  strug- 
gles of  ambition,  it  is  scarcely  possible 
that  the  clergy  of  a  large  denomination 
should  be  able  to  give  a  direction  to 
the  suffrage  of  their  whole  people,  and 
not  become  for  the  time  being  the  most 
favored  denomination,  and  in  balanced 
elections  the  dominant  sect,  whose  influ- 
ence in  times  of  discontent  may  perpe- 
tuate power  against  the  unbiased  ver- 
dict of  public  opinion.  The  free  circu- 
lation of  the  blood  is  not  more  essential 
to  bodily  health,  than  the  easy,  unob- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST. 

structed  movement  of  public  sentiment 
in  a  republic.  All  combinations  to  fore- 
stall and  baffle  its  movements  tend  to 
the  destruction  of  liberty.  Its  fluctua- 
tions are  indeed  an  evil ;  but  the  power 
to  arrest  its  fluctuations  and  chain  it 
down  is  despotism ;  and  when  it  is 
accomplished  by  the  bribed  alliance  of 
ecclesiastical  influence  in  the  control  of 
suffrage,  it  appears  in  its  most  'hateful 
and  alarming  form.  It  is  true,  that  the 
discovery  might  produce  a  reaction,  and 
sweep  away  the  ecclesiastical  inter- 
meddlers.  But  in  political  crises,  ca- 
lamities may  be  inflicted  in  a  day, 
which  ages  cannot  repair ;  and  who  can 
tell,  when  the  time  comes,  whether  the 
power  will  be  too  strong  for  the  fetters, 
or  the  fetters  for  the  power?  For  none 
but  desperate  men  will  employ  such 
measures  for  the  acquisition  of  power; 
and  when  desperate  men  have  gained 
power  they  will  not  relinquish  it  with- 
out a  struggle. 


82  DR.  EEECHER'S 

The  Lord  deliver  us  from  the  alli- 
ance of  any  church  with  the  state  ;  for 
it  will  be  the  alliance  of  ambition  with 
ambition,  of  corruption  with  corruption, 
of  despotism  with  despotism,  and  of  a 
persecuting  irreligion  with  a  persecuting 
Christianity.  It  will  produce  a  reac- 
tion, should  the  alliance  ever  take  place ; 
but  the  conflict  will  be  dreadful,  and 
blood  will  flow. 

We  say,  then,  with  the  objector,  only 
keep  the  church  and  state  apart,  and 
there  will  be  no  danger.  But  while 
you  watch  the  door  at  which  the  alli- 
ance never  did  come,  do  not  forget  to 
watch  the  door  at  which  it  always  has 
entered — the  door  of  the  state,  inviting 
the  alliance  of  church  power  to  sustain 
its  own  weakness,  and  nerve  its  arm  for 
despotic  dominion. 

"  But  why  so  much  excitement 
about  the  Catholic  religion  ?  Is  not  one 
religion  just  as  good  as  another  ?" 

There   are  some    who    think   that 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  83 

Calvinism  is  not  quite  as  good  a  religion 
as  some  others.  I  have  heard  it  de- 
nounced as  a  severe,  unsocial,  self-right- 
eous, uncharitable,  exclusive,  prosecu- 
ting system — dealing  damnation  round 
the  land — compassing  sea  and  land  to 
make  proselytes,  and  forming  conspira- 
cies to  overturn  the  liberties  of  the  na- 
tion by  an  unhallowed  union  of  church 
and  state.  There  have  been  those,  too, 
who  have  thought  it  neither  meddle- 
some nor  persecution  to  investigate  the 
facts  in  the  case,  and  scan  the  republi- 
can tendencies  of  the  Calvanistic  sys- 
tem. Though  it  has  always  been  on 
the  side  of  liberty  in  its  struggles  against 
arbitrary  power;  though,  through  the 
puritans,  it  breathed  into  the  British 
constitution  its  most  invaluable  princi- 
ples, and  laid  the  foundations  of  the  re- 
publican institutions  of  our  nation,  and 
felled  the  forests,  and  fought  the  colo- 
nial battles  with  Canadian  Indians  and 


84  DR.  BEECHER'S 

French  Catholics,  when  often  our  desti- 
ny balanced  on  a  pivot  and  hung  upon 
a  hair;  and  though  it  wept,  and  prayed, 
and  fasted,  and  fought,  and  suffered 
through  the  revolutionary  struggle,  when 
there  was  almost  no  other  creed  but 
the  Calvanistic  in  the  land  ;  still  it  is 
the  opinion  of  many,  that  its  well-doings 
of  the  past  should  not  invest  the  system 
with  implicit  confidence,  or  supersede 
the  scrutiny  of  its  republican  tendencies. 
They  do  not  think  themselves  required 
to  letCalvmistS  alone; — and  why  should 
they  ?  We  do  not  ask  to  be  let  alone, 
nor  cry  persecution  when  our  creed  or 
conduct  is  analyzed.  We  are  .not  an- 
noyed by  scrutiny  ;  we  seek  no  conceal- 
ment. We  court  investigation  of  our 
past  history,  and  of  all  the  tendencies  of 
the  doctrines  and  doings  of  the  friends 
of  the  Reformation ; — and  why  should  the 
Catholic  religion  be  exempted  from  scru- 
tiny ?  Has  it  disclosed  more  vigorous 


PLEA   FOR   THE   WEST.  85 

republican  tendencies  ?  Has  it  done 
more  to  enlighten  the  intellect,  to  purify 
the  morals,  and  sanctify  the  hearts  of 
men,  and  fit  them  for  self-government  1 
Has  it  fought  more  frequently  or  suc- 
cessfully the  battles  of  liberty  against 
despotism  ?  or  done  more  to  enlighten 
the  intellect,  purify  the  morals,  and 
sanctify  the  heart  of  the  world,  and  pre- 
pare it  for  universal  liberty? 

I  protest  against  that  unlimited 
abuse  with  which  it  is  thought  quite 
proper  to  round  off  declamatory  periods 
against  the  religion  of  those  who  fought 
the  battles  of  the  reformation  and  the 
battles  of  the  revolution,  and  that  sensi- 
tiveness and  liberality  which  would 
shield  from  animadversion  and  spread 
the  mantle  of  charity  over  a  religion 
which  never  prospered  but  in  alliance 
with  despotic  governments,  has  always 
been  and  still  is  the  inflexible  enemy  of 
liberty  of  conscience  and  free  inquiry^ 
8 


86  DR.  BEECHER'S 

and  at  this  moment  is  the  main  stay  of 
the  battle  against  republican  institutions, 
A  despotic  government  and  despotic  reli- 
gion may  not  be  able  to  endure  free 
inquiry,  but  a  republic  and  religious 
liberty  CANNOT  EXIST  WITHOUT  IT. — 
Where  force  is  withdrawn,  and  mil- 
lions are  associated  for  self-government, 
the  complex  mass  of  opinions  and  inte- 
rests can  be  reduced  to  system  and 
order  only  by  the  collision  and  resolu- 
tion of  intellectual  and  moral  forces. 
To  lay  the  ban  of  a  fastidious  charity 
on  religious  free  inquiry,  would  termi- 
nate in  unthinking  apathy  and  the  intel- 
lectual stagnation  of  the  dark  ages. 
Whatever  European  nations  may  do, 
our  nation  must  read  and  think  from 
length  to  breadth,  from  top  to  bottom. 
It  is  a  perilous  experiment  we  have  ad- 
ventured upon ;  but  it  is  begun,  and  we 
cannot  go  back.  For  mind  has  felt  its 
own  power,  and  is  girding  itself  for 


PLEA    FOR   THE   WEST.  87 

efforts  never  yet  made,  and  with 
means  and  motives  never  before  pos- 
sessed, and  on  such  a  field  as  before 
was  never  opened,  and  it  is  only  the 
mighty  salutary  action  of  mind  which 
can  carry  us  through. 

It  is  an  anti-republican  charity, 
then,  which  would  shield  the  Catholics, 
or  any  other  religious  denomination, 
from  the  animadversion  of  impartial 
criticism.  Denominations,  as  really  as 
books,  are  public  property,  and  demand 
and  are  benefited  by  criticism.  And 
if  ever  the  Catholic  religion  is  liberal- 
ized and  assimilated  to  our  institutions, 
it  must  be  done,  not  by  a  sickly  senti- 
mentalism  screening  it  from  animad- 
version, but  by  subjecting  it  to  the  tug 
of  controversy,  and  turning  upon  it  the 
searching  inspection  of  the  public  eye, 
and  compelling  it,  like  all  other  reli- 
gions among  us,  to  pass  the  ordeal  of 
an  enlightened  public  sentiment. 


88  DR.  BEECHER'S 

"  But  are  not  the  Catholics  sincere? 
why  not,  then,  let  them  alone  T  That 
they  are  sincere  in  their  faith  there  can 
be  no  doubt.  But  what  the  republican 
tendency  of  their  faith  is,  depends  on 
what  they  believe,  and  not  on  the  simple 
fact  that  they  do  believe  it.  If  they 
believe  in  the  rights  and  duties  of  uni- 
versal education,  of  free  inquiry,  of 
reading  and  understanding  the  Bible, 
and  in  the  liberty  and  equality  of  all 
religious  denominations,  and  that  they 
and  we  are  accountable  only  to  God 
and  the  laws  of  the  land,  it  is  well. 
But  if  they  believe  that  the  pope  and 
the  church  are  infallible, — that  his 
ecclesiastical  jurisdiction  is  universal, — 
that  he  and  the  priests  have  the  power 
of  eternal  life  or  death,  in  the  bestow- 
ment  or  refusal  of  pardon  as  they  obey 
or  disobey  them, — that  no  man  may 
read  the  Bible  without  the  permission 
of  the  priesthood,  or  understand  it  but 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  89 

as  they  interpret, — and  that  every 
Catholic  is  bound  to  believe  implicitly 
as  the  church  believes,  and  that  all 
non-Catholics  are  heretics,  and  heresy 
a  capital  offence,  and  the  extermination 
of  heretics  by  force  duty,  then  the 
more  anti-republican  the  elements  of 
their  faith  are,  the  more  terrific  is  their 
sincerity,  which  on  the  peril  of  their 
soul  would  make  them  the  instruments 
of  a  foreign  policy  in  overturning  our 
institutions  for  the  establishment  of 
those  of  their  own  church. 

"  But  have  there  not  been  great  and 
good  men  in  the  Catholic  Church  7" 
Doubtless.  Luther  was  a  great  and 
good  man  while  he  was  in  the  church, 
or  he  had  never  left  it ;  and  others  have 
given  evidence  of  piety  who  never  did 
abandon  her  communion.  But  does 
the  existence  of  a  few  good  men 
in  a  church  and  state  union  sanctify 
the  system  ? — are  all  systems  contain- 
8* 


90  DR.  BEECHER'S 

ing  men  of  talents  and  piety  of  good 
republican  tendency  ?  There  may  be 
great  and  good  men  in  Russia,  and 
Prussia,  and  Austria,  and  Italy;  but 
does  that  prove  the  republican  tenden- 
cies of  their  religious  systems  ?  It 
might  be  well  to  ascertain,  too,  whether 
the  great  and  good  men  in  the  Catho- 
lic church  have  ever  exerted  a  predo- 
minant influence  in  it,  and  have  not 
rather  endured  what  they  could  not 
reform,  and  if  not  persecuted,  were 
tolerated  in  an  impotent  minority  for 
the  credit  their  virtues  gave,  without 
the  power  of  changing  the  maxims  and 
tendencies  of  the  system?  Whether 
Catholics  are  pious  or  learned,  is  not  the 
question  ;  but  what  are  the  republican 
tendencies  of  their  system  ?  I  am  press- 
ing upon  republican  America  that  it 
is  better  for  her  to  educate  her  popula- 
tion by  her  own  sons  and  money, 
than  to  rely  on  the  school-masters  and 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  91 

charitable  contributions  of  the  despotic 
governments  of  Catholic  Europe — and 
the  more  piety,  and  talent,  and  learning 
they  should  bring  to  our  aid,  the  more 
deep  and  indelible  would  be  the  im- 
pression they  might  make  adverse  to 
our  religious  and  political  institu- 
tions. 

"But  have  not  the  Catholics  just  as 
good  a  right  to  their  religion  as  other 
denominations  have  to  theirs  7"  I  have 
said  so.  I  not  only  admit  their  equal 
rights,  but  insist  upon  them ;  and  am 
prepared  to  defend  their  rights  as  I  am 
those  of  my  own  and  other  Protestant 
denominations.  The  CatJwlics  have  a 
perfect  right  to  proselyte  the  nation  to 
their  faith  if  they  are  able  to  do  it.  But 
I  too  have  the  right  of  preventing  it  if  I 
am  able.  They  have  a  right  freely  to 
propagate  their  opinions  and  arguments; 
and  I  too  have  a  right  to  apprise  the  na- 
tion of  their  political  bearings  on  our 


92  DR.  BEECHER'S 

republican  institutions.  They  have  a 
right  to  test  the  tendencies  of  protestant- 
ism by  an  appeal  to  history ;  and  I,  by 
an  appeal  to  history,  have  a  right  to 
illustrate  the  coincidence  between  the 
political  doctrines  and  the  practice  of 
the  Catholic  church,  and  to  show  that 
always  they  have  been  hostile  to  civil 
and  religious  liberty.  The  Catholics 
claim  and  exercise  the  liberty  of  ani- 
madverting on  the  doctrines  and  doings 
of  Protestants,  and  we  do  not  complain 
of  it : — and  why  should  they  or  their 
friends  complain  that  we  in  turn  should 
animadvert  on  the  political  maxims  and 
doings  of  the  Catholic  church  ?  Must 
Catholics  have  all  the  liberty — their  own 
and  ours  too  ?  Can  they  not  endure  the 
reaction  of  free  inquiry  1  Must  we  lay 
our  hand  on  our  mouth  in  their  presence, 
and  stop  the  press  ?  Let  them  count  the 
cost  and  such  as  cannot  bear  the  scrutiny 
of  free  inquiry  return  where  there  is  none ; 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  93 

for  though  we  would  kindly  accommo- 
date them  in  all  practicable  ways,  we 
cannot  surrender  our  rights  for  their 
accommodation. 

But  are  not  the  Catholic  priesthood 
useful  to  keep  in  order  their  unlettered 
population,  to  secure  the  restitution  of 
property,  and  in  cases  of  popular  tumult, 
by  the  waving  of  the  hand  to  allay  ex- 
citement and  obviate  violence  ? 

But  how  much  better  it  were  if  their 
people  were  so  educated  as  not  wrong- 
fully to  take  the  property  of  their  neigh- 
bors. And  what  per  centage  do  you 
imagine  ever  returns  to  the  owner  by  the 
instrumentality  of  the  confessional  and 
the  priesthood.  And  as  to  the  power  of 
stilling  tumults  by  waving  the  hand  were 
it  not  better  so  to  educate  their  people  as 
to  prevent  such  insurrections  of  wrath. 
And  in  what  sort  of  elementary  prepa- 
ration for  naturalization  at  the  polls  is 
the  mind  of  a  mob — whose  rage  may  be 


94  DR.  BEECHER'S 

tamed  and  their  purpose  controlled  by 
the  waving  of  a  bishop's  hand? — and 
what  if  this  hand  should  wave  onward 
instead  of  off?  And  how  felicitous  the 
condition  of  American  citizens,  who  de- 
pend gratefully  upon  the  hand  and  will 
of  a  Catholic  bishop  to  protect  them 
from  elubs,  and  conflagration,  and  the 
knife ! 

For  what  was  the  city  of  Boston  for 
five  nights  under  arms — her  military 
upon  the  alert — her  citizens  enrolled, 
and  a  body  of  five  hundred  men  con- 
stantly patrolling  the  streets?  Why 
were  the  accustomed  lectures  for  public 
worship,  and  other  public  secular  meet- 
ings, suspended  ?  Why  were  the  citi- 
zens, at  sound  of  bell,  convened  at 
mid-day  in  Fanuiel  Hall? — to  hear 
Catholicism  eulogized,  and  thanksgiv- 
ings offered  to  his  reverence  the  bishop, 
for  his  merciful  protection  of  the  chil- 
dren of  the  pilgrims !  And  why  by  the 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  95 

cradle  of  liberty,  and  under  the  sha- 
dow of  Bunker's  Hill,  did  men  turn  pale, 
and  whisper,  and  look  over  their  shoul- 
ders and  around  to  ascertain  whether 
it  were  safe  to  speak  aloud,  or  meet  to 
worship  God  1  Has  it  come  to  this  ? — 
that  the  capital  of  New-England  has 
been  thrown  into  consternation  by  the 
threats  of  a  Catholic  mob,  and  that  her 
temples  and  mansions  stand  only  through 
the  forbearance  of  a  Catholic  bishop  ? 
There  can  be  no  liberty  in  the  presence 
of  such  masses  of  dark  mind,  and  of 
such  despotic  power  over  it  in  a  single 
man.  Safety  on  such  terms  is  not  the 
protection  of  law,  but  of  single  handed 
despotism.  Will  our  great  cities  con- 
sent to  receive  protection  from  the 
Catholic  priesthood — dependent  on  the 
Catholic  powers  of  Europe,  and  favored 
by  his  holiness,  who  is  himself  governed 
by  the  bayonets  of  Austria  1 

I  do  not  forget  that  non-Catholics 


96 

were  first  in  the  aggression,  or  depre- 
cate the  proper  conduct  of  the  bishop 
in  restraining  the  indignation  of  his 
people  at  the  wrong  which  had  been 
done  them. — I  am  answering  an  argu- 
ment often  urged  in  favor  of  the  Catho- 
lic religion,  viz :  the  influence  of  its 
clergy  in  protecting  us  against  popular 
tumults;  and  my  answer  is — that  the 
population  which  can  be  governed  thus 
by  the  power  of  superstition  is  a  dange- 
rous population — and  the  power  which 
governs  it  a  dangerous  power — and  I 
allude  to  the  panic  and  military  array 
in  Boston  to  illustrate  the  peril  and 
commotion  which  a  small  body  of  Ca- 
tholic population  may  produce  in  spite 
of  clerical  power — and  to  place  in  me- 
rited contempt,  the  idea  that  the  Catho- 
lic religion  should  be  advocated  on  the 
ground  of  its  power  of  protecting  Pro- 
testant republicans,  against  the  violence 
of  its  own  people.  And  I  am  sure  I 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  97 

express  but  a  small  portion  of  the  dis- 
gust which  was  felt  in  Boston  at  the 
sycophantic  eulogies  of  the  Catholic 
religion,  and  of  the  Catholic  bishop — as 
if  he  had  immortalized  himself,  and 
placed  Boston  under  everlasting  obliga- 
tions for  having  done  what  was  as 
much  the  dictate  of  a  sagacious  policy 
as  it  was  also  the  dictate  of  duty. 

But,  it  is  said,  "  the  Catholics  do  not 
interfere  at  all  with  the  religion  of  their 
Protestant  pupils.  They  have  no  such 
design.  They  promise  not  to  do  it,  and 
only  require  as  a  matter  of  decency  and 
order  a  conformity  to  the  rules  of  the 
school." 

They  cannot  help  interfering  with  the 
religion  of  their  pupils.  The  known 
opinions  and  kind  attentions  of  instruct- 
ors sedulous  to  please,  and  a  constant 
familiarity  with  their  example  and  reli- 
gious instruction  and  the  doctrines,  pray- 
ers, ceremonies  and  worship  of  the 
9 


98  DR.  BEECHER'S 

church,  cannot  fail  to  affect  the  mind 
of  Protestant  youth — allaying  appre- 
hension, conciliating  affection,  inspiring 
confidence  and  undermining  their  Pro- 
testant education — until  they  became 
either  sceptics,  or  devotees,  or  at  least  the 
friends  and  apologists  and  auxiliaries 
of  Catholics.  You  may  as  well  sus- 
pend the  attraction  of  gravity,  or  inter- 
cept the  connection  between  cause  and 
effect,  as  to  prevent  the  adverse  action 
of  a  Catholic  education  on  the  minds 
of  Protestant  children. 

"  But  they  have  no  design  to  subvert 
the  religion  of  Protestant  children." 

And  what  if  they  have  no  design  7 
Will  the  absence  of  a  deliberate  pur- 
pose stay  the  influence  or  avert  the 
effects  of  such  powerful  tendencies 
constantly  acting  upon  the  youthful 
mind?  The  action  of  physical  and 
moral  causes  is  not  dependent  on  de- 
sign. Fire  will  burn,  and  poisons 


PLEA     FOR    THE    WEST.  99 

destroy,  independent  of  the  malignant 
purpose  in  the  application. 

But  have  they  no  design  ?  Is  not  the 
system  of  instruction,  and  every  rela- 
tion and  circumstance  of  the  condition 
of  their  pupils,  a  matter  of  deliberate 
arrangement  1  and  is  it  not  as  well 
adapted  to  produce  effect  as  it  could 
be?  and  are  not  the  consequences  con- 
tinually witnessed?  Do  they  not 
studiously  withhold  Catholic  children 
from  the  action  of  such  causes  in 
Protestant  schools,  and  tax  their  own 
people,  and  supplicate  the  royal  munifi- 
cence of  Catholic  Europe  to  rear 
schools  and  colleges  for  the  cheap  and 
even  gratuitous  education  of  Protestant 
children,  high  and  low, — while  thou- 
sands of  Catholic  children  are  utterly 
neglected  and  uncared  for,  and  aban- 
doned to  ignorance  and  vice  ?  And  is 
all  this  without  design  ? 

"  But  they  promise  not  to  interfere 


100  DR.  BEECHER'S 

with  the  religion  of  their  Protestant 
pupils,  only  so  far  as  is  implied  in 
conformity  to  the  regulations  of  the 
school," — i.  e.  they  will  not  coerce  and 
persecute  them,  nor  assail  them  by 
direct  disputation  and  argument — 
which  would  preclude  the  access  of 
pupils;  while  the  entire  associations 
and  influences  and  instruction  of  the 
school  are  in  the  most  dexterous  man- 
ner possible  contrived  to  effect  that 
which  they  promise  not  to  attempt. 
There  is  an  inhibition  of  such  free  con- 
versation and  discussion  on  disputed 
points  by  the  students  among  them- 
selves, as  would  be  calculated  to  sus- 
tain Protestant  opinions  and  associa- 
tions. The  entire  absence  of  all  Pro- 
testant books  touching  religion,  with 
the  presence  of  those  which  are  Catho- 
lic; while  by  separate  beds,  and  si- 
lence, and  the  presence  of  an  overseer 
in  the  lodging  room  and  in  all  their 


PLEA   FOR   THE    WEST.  101 

amusements  and  walks  and  ways,  the 
action  of  every  thing  Protestant  is  sus- 
pended, and  the  active,  universal,  con- 
stant action  becomes  Catholic.  Every 
day  they  assist, — i.  e.  they  unite  in 
Catholic  worship — engage  in  and  com- 
ply with  their  forms  and  ceremonies — 
commit  their  catechisms,  recite  their 
prayers  to  the  Virgin  Mary  and  for  the 
repose  of  the  dead,  and  make  the 
crosses  and  genuflexions.  They  are  not 
permitted  to  attend  Protestant  worship, 
but  hear  points  of  Catholic  doctrine 
explained,  discussed  arid  defended.* 
In  short,  they  receive  as  pefect  a  Catho- 
lic education  as  the  Catholic  children 
themselves  who  are  educated  among 
them. 

*  A  gentleman  who  passed  four  years  in  the 
seminary  at  Bardstown,  stated  to  a  friend  of  mine 
recently,  that  in  the  whole  time  he  never  heard  but 
two  sermons  which  were  not  in  explanation  and 
defence  of  some  point  of  Catholic  faith. 
9* 


102  DR.  BEECHER'S 

In  St.  Mary's  College,  Baltimore, 
"  No  books  foreign  to  the  course  of 
study  are  SUFFERED  to  circulate  in  the 
College,  unless  signed  by  the  presi- 
dent." 

In  Georgetown,  D.  C.,  "  The  exer- 
cises of  religious  worship  are  Catholic. 
It  is  required  that  members  of  other 
religious  denominations  assist  at  the 
public  duties  of  religion  with  their 
companions." 

At  the  AthenaBum,  Cincinnati,  "it 
is  not  deemed  an  infringement  of  liberty 
that  all  our  pupils  should  assist  together 
at  religious  exercises." 

At  St.  Joseph's  College,  Bardstown, 
•Kentucky,  the  students  of  other  deno- 
minations are  received  upon  the  sole 
condition  of  attending  morning  and 
evening  prayer  daily,  and  catechism 
and  divine  service  on  Sundays  and 
holy  days. 

What  more  could  Catholics  do,  or 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  103 

Protestant  parents  permit  to  be  done  7 
What  more  do  Protestants  do  to  edu- 
cate their  children  in  the  Protestant 
faith,  than  is  avowed  and  permitted 
and  done  to  convert  Protestant  children 
to  the  Catholic  faith  1 — and  all  under 
the  trifling  reservation  of  "  expected 
conformity  to  the  regulations  of  the 
school." 

They  hold  up  to  the  ear  of  unreflect- 
ing credulity,  the  promise  of  non-inter- 
ference with  the  religion  of  the  pupils. 
But  do  they  promise  that  they  will  not 
by  studied  attention  seek  to  gain  their 
confidence  and  affection'?  and  that  by 
dextrous  insinuation  and  remark,  they 
will  not  attempt  to  undermine  their 
confidence  in  the  religion  of  their  pa- 
rents 1  That  they  will  not  heave  the 
sigh  nor  drop  the  tear  in  their  presence, 
that  their  parents  should  be  heretics, 
and  their  beloved  pupils  aliens  from  the 
only  church  in  which  they  can  possi- 


104  DR.  BEECHER'S 

bly  be  saved.  If  they  do,  then  doubtless 
they  break  their  promise.  For  pro- 
mises are  obligatory  in  the  sense  in 
which  they  are  known  to  be  understood 
by  those  to  whom  they  are  made. 
But  Catholics  know  that  Protestants 
would  not  send  their  children  to  their 
schools,  if  they  believed  their  children 
would  be  made  Catholics,  or  their  prin- 
ciples undermined — and  understand 
them  to  promise  that  nothing  of  this 
kind  shall  be  done;  while  Catholics 
know  that  the  influence  under  which 
the  children  are  placed,  is  as  wisely 
and  powerfully  adapted  to  do  this  as  a 
system  of  means  can  be ;  and  by  long 
experience  they  know  and  admit — and 
exult  in  it — that  it  produces  just  this 
effect,  and  call  upon  their  European 
friends  to  aid  them  in  rearing  semina- 
ries because  of  their  admirable  influ- 
ence in  conciliating  Protestant  children 
toward  the  Catholic  religion.  And  if 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  105 

Protestants  are  justly  punished  for  their 
carelessness  and  credulity,  that  is  no 
justification  or  excuse  for  the  disappoint- 
ments of  the  honest  confidence  which 
the  Protestant  community  have  reposed 
in  these  promises. 

They  do  promise  not  to  interfere 
with  the  religion  of  Protestant  children 
committed  to  their  schools.  But  what 
do  they  say,  when  writing  to  their 
missionary  patrons  in  Europe,  as  to  the 
effect  on  Protestant  children  of  this 
confidence  reposed  in  their  promises  by 
their  parents? 

The  quotations  which  follow  are 
translated  from  a  French  Catholic  mis- 
sionary publication  called  the  "  An- 
nales,"  by  a  friend  of  the  writer,  whose 
ability  and  integrity  are  unquestioned ; 
and  from  a  report  of  the  doings  of  the 
general  convention  of  the  whole  Catho- 
lic church  in  the  United  States,  held  in 
Baltimore.  Both  these  publications 
were  circulated  among  Catholics  in 


106  DR.  BEECHER'S 

Europe,  to  enkindle  their  missionary 
zeal  and  secure  contributions,  and  fell 
accidentally  into  the  hands  of  a  Protes- 
tant gentleman  travelling  in  Europe, 
by  whom  they  were  sent  home  for 
translation. 

"  Mr.  Flaget  has  established  in  his 
diocese  many  convents  of  nuns  devoted 
to  the  education  of  young  females. 
These  establishments  do  wonderful 
good.  Catholics  and  Protestants  are 
admitted  indiscriminately.  The  latter, 
after  having  finished  their  education, 
return  to  the  bosom  of  their  families, 
full  of  esteem  and  veneration  for  their 
instructresses.  They  are  ever  ready 
to  refute  the  calumnies,  which  the 
jealousy  of  heretics  loves  to  spread 
against  the  religious  communities :  and 
often,  when  they  have  no  longer  any  op- 
position of  their  relations  to 'fear •,  they 
embrace  the  Catholic  religion''1 — Quar- 
terly Register,  vol.  2,  1830— page  194. 

They  promise  not  to  interfere  with 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  107 

the  religion  of  their  Protestant  pupils, 
and  simple-hearted  Protestant  parents 
confide  in  their  promises ;  and  thus  are 
they  requited  by  those  who,  it  seems, 
knowingly  spread  the  snare  for  their 
feet,  and  to  their  friends  in  Europe 
exult  in  their  success. 

The  bishop  of  Bardstown,  Kentucky, 
says : 

"  Had  I  treasures  at  my  disposal,  I 
would  multiply  colleges  and  schools  for 
girls  and  boys  ;  I  would  consolidate  all 
these  establishments,  by  annexing  to 
them  lands  or  annual  rents ;  I  would  build 
hospitals  and  public  houses  :  in  a  word, 
I  would  compel  all  MY  KENTUCKIANS  to 
admire  and  love  a  religion  so  benificent 
and  generous,  and  perhaps  I  should  fin- 
ish by  converting  them" — Quarterly  Re- 
gister, vol.  2,  1830— page  194. 

The  next  year  the  same  bishop 
writes : 

"  I  have  the  greatest  confidence  we 


108  DR.  BEECHER'S 

shall  be  able  in  a  short  time  to  liquidate 
our  debts;  and  shall  then  have  the 
opportunity  of  educating  gratis  a  much 
larger  number  of  pupils  in  our  seminary 
for  the  good  of  the  church  in  Kentucky." 
Quarterly  Register,  vol.  2,  1830 — page 
195. 

Again  he  says  : 

"  Since  the  holy  Catholic  religion 
has  exhibited  itself  in  Kentucky  with  a 
certain  splendor, — since  schools  for 
girls  and  boys,  into  which  all  sects  are 
admitted,  have  been  multiplied,  our 
many  churches  built,  and  our  doctrine 
clearly  and  solidly  explained  in  them 
on  Sundays  and  festivals,  the  most  hap- 
py revolution  is  effected  in  her  favor. 
To  the  most  inveterate  prejudices  have 
succeeded  astonishment,  admiration, 
and  the  desire  of  knowing  our  princi- 
ples. Now  the  conversions  are  nume- 
rous. In  twelve  jubilees,  wherein  I  have 
presided,  more  than  forty  Protestants 


PLEA   FOR    THE    WEST.  109 

have  entered  the  church  ;  a  great  num- 
ber still  are  preparing  to  share  the  same 
happiness, — and  I  have  hardly  gone 
over  the  half  of  Kentucky." — Quarterly 
Register,  vol.  2,  1830— page  197. 

In  the  proceedings  of  the  Catholic 
convention  sent  to  the  missionary  pa- 
trons of -Europe,  they  say  it  was  propo- 
sed to  form  a  central  seminary  for  the 
whole  metropolitan  jurisdiction  where 
young  persons  should  be  educated  at  a 
low  cost,  and  prepared  for  the  functions 
of  the  priesthood, — at  a  low  cost,  remem- 
ber,— and  that  they  especially  invite  in 
their  seminaries  Protestant  pupils.  In 
the  same  reports,  they  say : 

"  There  is  also  a  society  of  men  who 
do  for  boys  what  is  done  by  the  ladies 
for  girls.  These  schools  are  frequented 
not  only  by  the  Catholic,  but  also  by 
Protestant  children,  many  of  whom  em- 
brace the  Catholic  religion,  or  at  least 
receive  impressions  in  its  favor,  which 
10 


110  DR.  BEECHER'S 

they  carry  into  the  bosom  of  their  fami- 
lies"— Quarterly  Register,  vol.  3,  1831 
— page  98. 

The  Sisters  of  Charity  began  their 
establishment  at  Baltimore  in  1809.  In 
1810  they  removed  to  Emmetsburgh, 
in  Maryland.  Seventy  in  number  pro- 
fessed, or  novices,  and  a  hundred  female 
boarders. 

"  From  that  place  they  have  sent  co- 
lonies to  Baltimore,  Washington,  Fred- 
erick, Montagne,  Philadelphia,  New- 
York,  Albany,  Harrisburgh,  and  St. 
Louis.  In  these  different  places,  they 
receive  and  instruct  orphans,  and  have 
a  school  for  unfortunate  children,  the 
number  of  which  is  enormous.  There 
are  some  schools  containing  from  five 
to  six  hundred.  At  Baltimore,  besides 
the  asylum  and  free  school,  they  have 
the  care  of  the  lying-in-hospital  belong- 
ing to  the  medical  school.  Those  of  St. 
Louis  have  also  the  care  of  the  hospital 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  Ill 

of  that  city.  All  these  different  branches 
are  connected  with  a  central  government, 
in  the  parent  house  at  Emmetsburgh. 
They  form  together  but  one  body. 
They  live  under  the  rule  of  St.  Vincent 
de  Paul,  with  a  little  variation,  thought 
indispensable  by  the  ecclesiastical  supe- 
riors. One  of  these  is  the  boarding  es- 
tablishment of  the  parent  house,  with 
the  double  object  of  giving  a  Christian 
education  to  Protestants  as  well  as  Catho- 
lics, (a  want  deeply  felt  in  these  regions.)" 
— Quarterly  Register,  vol.  3,  1831- 
page  98. 

What  are  the  motives  of  these  Ca- 
tholics in  neglecting  the  education  of 
their  own  children,  and  extending  such 
cheap  and  even  gratuitous  facilities  of 
education  to  Protestants  1  and  what  is 
it  which  all  at  once  has  warmed  the 
heart  of  pope  and  cardinals,  potentates, 
princes,  prime  ministers  and  nobles,  to 
endow  for  us  Protestants  such  ample 


112  DR.  BEECHER'S 

means  of  cheap  instruction  1  We  per- 
ceive in  the  preceding  extracts,  and  the 
one  which  follows,  what  the  motives 
are  which  the  Catholics  of  this  country, 
in  their  communications,  press  upon 
their  patrons  in  Europe,  and  which 
bring  out  their  exuberant  charities. 

"  The  missions  of  America  are  of 
high  importance  to  the  church.  The 
superabundant  population  of  ancient 
Europe  is  flowing  toward  the  United 
States.  Each  one  arrives,  not  with  his 
religion,  but  with  his  indifference.  The 
greater  part  are  disposed  to  embrace  the 
doctrine,  whatever  it  may  be,  which  is 
first  preached  to  them.  We  must  make 
haste ;  the  moments  are  precious.  Ame- 
rica may  one  day  become  the  centre  of 
civilization;  and  shall  truth  or  error 
establish  there  its  empire  ?  IF  THE 
PROTESTANT  SECTS  ARE  BEFOREHAND  WITH 
US,  IT  WILL  BE  DIFFICULT  TO  DESTROY 
THEIR  INFLUENCE. 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  113 

"'Mgr.  Fenwick,'  adds  the  editor, 
'  is  laboring  with  an  admirable  zeal  to 
combat  this  influence  of  the  Protestant 
sects  in  the  mission  entrusted  to  him. 
Numerous  conversions  have  already 
crowned  his  efforts ;  and  he  has  even 
been  able  to  establish  a  convent,  all  the 
nuns  of  which  are  Protestants,  who 
have  abjured  their  former  faith.' " — 
Quarterly  Register,  vol.  2,  1830 — page 
198. 

And  now,  in  view  of  these  disclo- 
sures, let  me  ask,  can  a  Protestant  pro- 
fessor of  religion,  covenant  to  train  up 
his  children  in  the  nurture  and  admoni- 
tion of  the  Lord,  and  then  deliver  them 
over  to  a  Catholic  education,  and  not 
violate  his  vow  ? — and  can  patriots 
swear  to  be  faithful  to  the  constitution 
of  the  United  States,  and  commit  the 
education  of  their  republican  children  to 
Catholic  schools  and  seminaries,  and  do 
no  violence  to  their  oath  ?  Can  Jesuits 
10* 


114  DR.  BEECHER'S 

and  nuns,  educated  in  Europe,  and  sus- 
tained by  the  patronage  of  Catholic 
powers  in  arduous  conflict  for  the  des- 
truction of  liberty,  be  safely  trusted  to 
form  the  mind  and  opinions  of  the  young 
hopes  of  this  great  nation  1 — Is  it  not 
treason  to  commit  the  formation  of  re- 
publican children  to  such  influences  ? 

It  is  time  to  awake  out  of  sleep  on 
the  subject,  and  that  the  sanction  of  a 
correct,  concentrated,  all-powerful  pub- 
lic sentiment  should  stamp  infatuation 
and  shame  upon  it.  Nothing  fills  the 
Catholics  with  such  amazement  and 
high  hopes  as  the  simple-hearted  credu- 
lity and  recklessness  of  Protestants,  in 
committing  their  children  to  their  form- 
ing hand;  and  nothing  certainly  can  be 
more  wonderful  or  more  fatal  in  its  in- 
fluence on  our  republican  institutions. 

But,  it  is  said,  "  this  outcry  of  a  con- 
spiracy to  overturn  our  republican  insti- 
tutions by  immigration  and  ecclesiasti- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  115 

cal  influence  is  a  false  alarm.     There  is 
no  such  design." 

If  there  be  no  such  design,  the  facts 
in  the  case  are  as  adverse  to  our  safety 
as  if  they  were  the  parts  of  a  settled 
plan.  The  number  of  the  immigrants, 
who  lack  of  information,  their  unac- 
quaintance  with  the  principles  of  our  go- 
vernment, their  superstition  and  implicit 
confidence  in  their  ecclesiastical  teach- 
ers, and  the  dependence  of  these  on 
Rome,  and  of  Rome  upon  Austria, — all 
constitute  an  influence  of  dangerous  ac- 
tion in  themselves,  and  offer  to  the  pow- 
ers of  Europe,  easy  and  effectual  means 
of  disturbing  the  healthful  action  of  our 
institutions,  which,  if  it  did  escape  their 
design  to  contrive,  cannot  be  expected 
long  to  escape  their  sagacity  to  employ. 
It  is  like  a  train  of  powder  between  an 
enemy's  camp  and  our  own  magazine ; 
which,  though  laid  by  accident,  may  not 
be  expected  long  to  escape  observation 
and  use. 


116  DR.  BEECHER'S 

But  if  the  civil  and  ecclesiastical 
powers  of  Europe  have  no  such  design, 
they  lack  the  ordinary  discretion  and 
conduct  of  men  in  their  condition,  an- 
noyed and  endangered,  as  they  feel 
themselves  to  be,  by  our  republican  in- 
stitutions. If  they  have  no  design  to 
extend  their  influence  by  ecclesiastical 
power,  they  have  forgotten  also  all  the 
past  analogies  of  supposed  duty, — their 
faith  authorizing  and  requiring  them 
to  extend  the  Catholic  religion  the 
world  over,  by  persuasion  if  they  can, 
and  by  force  if  they  must  and  are  able. 
And  when  or  where  has  their  executive 
zeal  fallen  in  the  rear  of  their  physical 
ability. 

If  they  have  no  design,  they  do  not 
pursue  the  analogy  of  their  past  policy 
in  similar  circumstances,  which  has 
been  always  to  compensate  for  losses  at 
home  by  new  efforts  to  extend  their  in- 
fluence abroad.  It  was  the  boast  of  the 
Catholic  church,  when  she  lost  half 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  117 

Europe  by  the  Reformation,  that  she 
had  more  than  compensated  her  loss  by 
the  new  enterprise  of  her  Jesuit  mis- 
sionaries in  India  and  South  America. 
But  during  the  last  half  century  her 
power  in  Europe  has  been  as  much  cur- 
tailed by  infidelity  and  revolution,  as 
before  it  had  been  by  the  Reformation. 
"  The  spirit  of  the  age,"  which  Bona- 
parte says  dethroned  him,  is  moving 
on  to  put  an  end  in  Europe  to  Catho- 
lic domination,  creating  the  necessity 
of  making  reprisals  abroad  for  what 
liberty  conquers  at  home.  Their  policy 
points  them  to  the  West,  the  destined 
centre  of  civilization  and  political  pow- 
er once  their  own,  and  embracing  now 
their  ancient  settlements  and  institu- 
tions and  people,  and  not  a  little  wealth 
— bounded  on  the  north  by  a  Catholic 
population,  and  on  the  south  by  a  con- 
tinent not  yet  emancipated  from  their 
dominion,  and  agitated  by  the  at  pre- 


118 

sent  successful  conflicts  of  the  Catholic 
priesthood  to  extinguish  free  institutions 
and  reconstruct  those  of  despotic  power 
— there  can  be  no  doubt  that  Catholi- 
cism in  St.  Domingo  and  South  America 
is  destined  to  feel  the  quickening  ener- 
gies of  the  political  powers  of  Europe, 
as  the  only  means  remaining  to  them 
of  combating  the  march  of  liberal  in- 
stitutions ;  and  it  cannot  be  denied  that 
those  empires  of  superstitious  mind  offer 
the  fairest  opportunity  now  remaining 
to  the  Catholic  church  of  making  a 
stand,  and  perpetuating  for  a  season 
her  political  and  ecclesiastical  dominion. 
But  why  is  it  so  flippantly  said,  and 
so  confidently  believed,  that  there  is  no 
design  on  the  part  of  the  powers  of 
Europe  to  annoy  us  by  the  introduction 
of  a  disturbing  political  religious  influ- 
ence among  us  ?  What  can  evidence 
design,  if  obvious  and  powerful  motives, 
frank  declaration,  and  the  extensive 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  119 

and  vigorous  adaptation  of  means  to 
the  end,  do  not  ?  But  American  tra- 
velers at  Rome  and  Vienna,  assure  us, 
that  in  the  upper  circles  the  enterprise 
of  reducing  our  western  states  to  spirit- 
ual subserviency  to  the  see  of  Rome  is  a 
subject  of  avowed  expectation,  and  high 
hope,  and  sanguine  confidence,  while 
the  correspondence  of  the  Catholic  bish- 
ops and  priests  in  this  country  to  their 
noble  and  royal  patrons  in  Europe  are 
full  of  the  same  predictions  and  high 
hopes,  as  motives  to  their  immediate 
and  copious  charities  to  establish  Cath- 
olic institutions  at  the  West. 

The  bishop  of  Bardstown,  Ken- 
tucky, says : 

"  Had  I  treasures  at  my  disposal,  I 
would  multiply  colleges,  and  schools 
for  girls  and  boys ;  I  would  consolidate 
all  these  establishments,  by  annexing 
to  them  lands  or  annual  rents ;  I  would 
build  hospitals  and  public  houses  :  in  a 


120  DR.  BEECHER'S 

word,  I  would  compel  all  MY  KENTUCK- 
IANS  to  admire  and  love  a  religion  so 
beneficial  and  generous,  and  perhaps  I 
should  finish  by  converting  them."* 

The  bishop  of  Cincinnati,  on  the 
same  page,  says : 

"  The  missions  of  America  are  of 
high  importance  to  the  church.  The 
superabundant  population  of  ancient 
Europe  is  flowing  toward  the  United 
States.  Each  one  arrives,  not  with  his 
religion,  but  with  his  indifference. 
The  greater  part  are  disposed  to  em- 
brace the  doctrine,  whatever  it  may  be, 
which  is  first  preached  to  them.  We 
must  make  haste ;  the  moments  are 
precious.  America  may  one  day  be- 
come the  centre  of  civilization ;  and 
shall  truth  or  error  establish  there  its 
empire?  IF  THE  PROTESTANT  SECTS 

ARE   BEFOREHAND    WITH    US,    IT    WILL    BE 

DIFFICULT  TO    DESTROY  THEIR  INFLUENCE. 

*  Quarterly  Register,  vol.  2,  1830— page  194. 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  121 

"  l  Mgr.  Fenwick,'  adds  the  editor, 
1  is  laboring  with  an  admirable  zeal  to 
combat  this  influence  of  the  Protestant 
sects  in  the  mission  entrusted  to  him. 
Numerous  conversions  have  already 
crowned  his  efforts ;  and  he  has  even 
been  able  to  establish  a  convent,  all  the 
nuns  of  which  are  Protestants,  who 
have  abjured  their  former  faith.'  "* 

A  Catholic  priest,  writing  appa- 
rently from  Cincinnati  to  a  friend  in 
Europe,  says : 

"  Since  the  Bishop's  arrival,  a  great 
number  of  persons  have  presented 
themselves  for  instruction  in  the  true 
religion.  I  hope,  if  the  Lord  blesses 
our  efforts,  we  shall  be  able  to  finish 
the  cathedral  and  found  a  college. 
We  shall  see  the  truth  triumph,  the 
temples  of  idols  overthrown,  and  the 
seat  of  falsehood  brought  to  silence. 
This  is  the  reason  that  we  conjure  all 

*  Quarterly  Register,  vol.  2,  1830 — page  198. 
11 


122  DR.  BEECHER'S 

the  Christians  of  Europe — (i.  e,  all  the 
Catholics) — to  unite  in  order  to  ask  of 
God  the  conversion  of  those  unhappy 
infidels  or  heretics.  What  a  happiness, 
if  by  our  feeble  labors  and  our  vows, 
we  shall  so  merit  as  to  see  the  sava- 
ges of  this  diocese  civilized,  and  all 
the  United  States  embraced  in  the 
same  unity  of  the  Catholic  church,  in 
which  dwells  truth  and  temporal  hap- 
piness."* 

Bishop  England,  in  his  late  address 
to  the  clergy  of  his  diocese,  on  his 
return  from  Rome,  speaking  of  the  pre- 
lates of  the  church  of  Ireland,  says : 

"  They  are  ready,  as  far  as  our 
hierarchy  shall  require  their  co-opera- 
tion, to  give  it  their  best  exertions  in 
selecting  and  forwarding,  from  amongst 
the  numerous  aspirants  to  the  sacred 
ministry  that  are  found  in  the  island  of 
saints,  a  sufficient  number  of  those 

*  Quarterly  Register,  vol.  2,  1830— page  198. 


PLEA   FOR  THE    WEST.  123 

properly  qualified  to  supply  our  defi- 
ciencies." 

Such  is  the  language  employed  by 
Catholics  in  this  country,  to  stimulate 
the  hopes  and  efforts  of  Catholics  in 
Europe,  and  especially  the  royal  pa- 
trons of  the  three  powerful  missionary 
societies — one  at  Rome,  the  other  at 
Vienna,  and  the  third  in  France — but 
the  centres,  no  doubt,  of  correspondence 
throughout  Catholic  Europe,  and  the 
reservoirs  of  her  copious  charities.  We 
have  accidentally  fallen  upon  the  items 
of  fifty  thousand  dollars  in  one  dona- 
tion, and  sixty  thousand  in  another,  and 
twenty  thousand,  besides  the  frequent 
recognition  in  their  correspondence  of 
efficacious  aid,  the  amount  of  which  ifr 
not  named. 

Bishop  England  says : 

"During  my  absence,  I  have  not 
been  negligent  of  the  concerns  of  this 
diocese.  I  have  endeavored  to  interest 


124  DR.  BEECHER'S 

in  its  behalf  several  eminent  and  digni- 
fied personages  whom  I  had  the  good 
fortune  to  meet ;  and  have  continued  to 
impress  with  a  conviction  of  the  pro- 
priety of  continuing  their  generous  aid, 
the  administration  of  those  societies 
from  which  it  has  previously  received 
valuable  succor.  In  Paris  and  at 
Lyons  I  have  conversed  with  those 
excellent  men  who  manage  the  affairs 
of  the  association  for  propagating  the 
faith.  This  year  their  grant  to  this 
diocese  has  been  larger  than  usual.  I 
have  also  had  opportunities  of  commu- 
nication with  some  of  the  Council 
which  administers  the  Austrian  associ- 
ation ;  they  continue  to  feel  an  interest 
in  our  concerns.  The  Propaganda  in 
Rome,  though  greatly  embarrassed, 
owing  to  the  former  plunder  of  its  funds 
by  rapacious  infidels,  has  this  year 
contributed  to  our  extraordinary  ex- 
penditure ;  as  has  the  holy  father  him- 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  125 

self,  in  the  kindest  manner,  from  the 
scanty  stock  which  constitutes  his 
private  allowance." 

But  we  need  not  the  list  of  donations. 
The  results  that  are  starting  up  before 
our  eyes,  as  if  by  magic,  lift  the  veil, 
and  discover  that  a  portion  of  the  re- 
sources which  potentates  once  squan- 
dered in  war  are  beginning  to  be  appro- 
priated in  munitions  for  the  moral  con- 
flict— the  battle  of  institutions — and 
that  the  field  of  battle  is  the  American 
republic,  and  especially  the  West. 

Four  years  ago  the  Catholic  popu- 
lation was  estimated  at  half  a  million, 
and  in  the  single  year  of  1832  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  thousand  were  added,  and 
the  numbers  every  year  since  have 
greatly  increased,  and  the  Catholics 
predict  still  greater  numbers  the  cur- 
rent and  coming  years.  A  great  pro- 
portion of  them  are  poor ;  and  though 
in  various  forms  an  oppressive  taxation 


126  DR.  BEECHER'S 

swallows  up  all  the  earnings  they  do 
not  consume  or  squander,  the  revenue 
fails,  it  is  said,  by  the  Catholics  them- 
selves, to  support  their  clergy.  Their 
multiplied  and  multiplying  institutions, 
cathedrals  of  royal  splendor,  and  colle- 
ges, and  nunneries,  and  cheap  schools, 
and  free  schools  rise  therefore  to  attest 
the  sincerity  and  energy  of  political  Eu- 
ropean patronage. 

But  the  numerical  power,  without 
augmentation,  would  be  too  small  to 
accomplish  the  end  ;  and,  therefore, 
Catholic  Europe  is  throwing  swarm  on 
swarm  upon  our  shores.  They  come, 
also,  not  undirected.  There  is  evidently 
a  supervision  abroad — and  one  here — 
by  which  they  come,  and  set  down  to- 
gether, in  city  or  country,  as  a  Catholic 
body,  and  are  led  or  followed  quickly 
by  a  Catholic  priesthood,  who  maintain 
over  them  in  the  land  of  strangers  and 
unknown  tongues  an  ascendency  as 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  127 

absolute  as  they  are  able  to  exert  in 
Germany  itself. 

Their  embodied  and  insulated  con- 
dition, as  strangers  of  another  tongue, 
and  their  unacquaintance  with  Protes- 
tants, and  prejudices  against  them,  and 
their  fears  and  implicit  obedience  of 
their  priesthood,  and  aversion  to  instruc- 
tion from  book,  or  tract,  or  Bible,  but 
with  their  consent,  tend  powerfully  to 
prevent  assimilation  and  perpetuate  the 
principles  of  a  powerful  cast.  Hence, 
while  Protestant  children,  with  unceas- 
ing assiduity,  are  gathered  into  Catholic 
schools,  their  own  children,  with  a  vigi- 
lance that  never  sleeps,  and  is  upon  them 
both  when  they  go  out  and  come  in,  and 
is  conversant  with  all  their  ways,  are 
kept  extensively  from  Sabbath  schools, 
from  our  republican  common  schools, 
and  from  worship  in  Protestant  families, 
and  from  all  such  alliance  of  affection 
as  might  supplant  the  control  of  the 


128  DR.  BEECHER'S 

priesthood  over  them;  so,  that,  as  the 
bishop  of  Cincinnati  said,  to  a  Protes- 
tant, "  We  multiply  by  securing  all  our 
Catholic  children,  so  that  every  family 
in  process  of  time  becomes  six." 

If  they  associated  with  republicans, 
the  power  of  caste  would  wear  away. 
If  they  mingled  in  our  schools,  the  re- 
publican atmosphere  would  impregnate 
their  minds.  If  they  scattered,  unas- 
sociated,  the  attrition  of  circumstances 
would  wear  off  their  predilections  and 
aversions.  If  they  could  read  the  Bible, 
and  might  and  did,  their  darkened  in- 
tellect would  brighten,  and  their  bowed 
down  mind  would  rise.  If  they  dared 
to  think  for  themselves,  the  contrast  of 
Protestant  independence  with  their 
thraldom,  would  awaken  the  desire  of 
equal  privileges,  and  put  an  end  to  an 
arbitrary  clerical  dominion  over  trem- 
bling superstitious  minds.  If  the  pope 
and  potentates  of  Europe  held  no  do- 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  129 

minion  over  ecclesiastics  here,  we  might 
trust  to  time  and  circumstances  to  miti- 
gate their  ascendency  and  produce  as- 
similation. But  for  conscience  sake  and 
patronage,  they  are  dependent  on  the 
powers  that  be  across  the  deep,  by 
whom  they  are  sustained  and  nurtured ; 
and  receive  and  organize  all  who  come, 
and  retain  all  who  are  born  ;  while  by 
argument,  and  a  Catholic  education, 
they  beguile  the  children  of  credulous 
unsuspecting  Protestants  into  their  own 
communion. 

No  design !  How  does  it  happen  that 
their  duty,  and  the  analogy  of  their  past 
policy,  and  their  profession  in  Europe, 
and  their  predictions  and  exultation  in 
this  country,  and  their  deeds,  all  well 
adapted  to  their  end,  should  come  to- 
gether accidentally  with  such  admirable 
indications  of  design  ?  If  such  compli- 
cated indications  of  design  may  exist 
without  design,  as  well  may  the  broader 


130  DR.  BEECHER'S 

mechanism  of  the  world  be  regarded  as 
the  offspring  of  chance. 

Had  the  Catholic  power  of  the  holy 
alliance  declared  their  purpose  in  due 
time  to  subdue  us  by  force,  and  sent  out 
fleets,  with  munitions  and  men  and  offi- 
cers, in  bright  array — to  move  through 
the  land,  seizing  passes,  fortifying  emi- 
nences, and  every  where  rearing  bar- 
racks, arsenals  and  forts,  and  military 
schools  for  the  gratuitous  instruction  of 
our  sons,  the  evidence  of  a  designed 
assault  would  not  surpass  the  prepara- 
tions for  our  subjection  by  a  conflict  of 
institutions. 

They  do  design  the  subversion  of  our 
institutions ;  so  far  as  a  Catholic  ascen- 
dency of  literary  institutions  and  eccle- 
siastical and  political  influence  would  be 
their  subversion ;  and  according  to  their 
views  they  ought  to,  for  their  time  or 
ours  is  short.  If  our  light  continues,  their 
darkness  passes  away ;  and  if  our  pros- 


PLEA   FOR   THE    WEST.  131 

0 

perity  continues,  their  overturnings  can- 
not be  stopped  till  revolution  has  traveled 
round  the  globe,  and  the  earth  is  free. 

It  is  said  again,  "  the  conspiracy,  if 
real,  to  overthrow  our  republic  by  immi- 
gration and  a  foreign  religion,  is  impo- 
tent and  chimerical — a  thing  which  can- 
not be  done." 

Indeed !  Is  our  republic,  then,  so  ma- 
ture, and  solid,  and  strong,  as  to  bid  de- 
fiance to  peril  ?  Our  wisest  men  have 
regarded  its  preservation,  when  formed 
of  native  citizens,  only  as  an  experiment, 
— urged  on  by  high  hopes,  indeed,  and 
strenuous  efforts,  but  amid  stupendous 
difficulties,  and  not  yet  consummated. 
And  though  hitherto  our  ship  has  weath- 
ered every  storm,  has  it  been  accom- 
plished with  such  ease  and  safety  as  to 
justify  the  proud  contempt  of  greater 
dangers  ? 

Nothing  is  more  easy  than  the  per- 
version of  associated  mind ;  or  difficult, 


132  DR.  BEECHER'S 

than  its  recovery  to  sanity  and  a  health- 
ful self-government.  To  let  out  the 
storm,  and  roll  up  the  angry  wave,  is 
easy;  but  to  still  the  tumult  of  the  peo- 
ple lies  often  only  within  the  reach  of 
that  power  which  holds  the  winds,  and 
stilleth  the  tumult  of  the  sea.  We  have 
surmounted  past  difficulties  also  by 
means  of  a  comparative  homogenity  of 
character,  opinions  and  interests,  the 
result  of  our  colonial  training  and  revo- 
lutionary struggle,  and  while  the  ship 
was  navigated  by  those  who  aided  in 
her  construction  and  launching.  But 
another  generation  has  arisen ;  and  great 
difficulties  are  yet  to  be  encountered, 
demanding  equal  wisdom,  unity,  and 
firmness,  and  decision,  and  rendering  the 
accumulation  of  a  powerful  adverse  in- 
fluence justly  alarming.  And  of  all 
others,  a  religious  influence,  in  the  hands 
of  ecclesiastics,  and  perverted  to  pur- 
poses of  secular  intrigue  and  political 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  133 

intermeddling,  is  most  to  be  feared. 
While  religion,  pure  and  undefiled,  is  as 
indispensable  to  the  perfection  of  society 
and  the  propitious  results  of  government, 
as  the  sun  is  to  light,  and  order,  and  ve- 
getation, and  life,  it  becomes  such  only 
by  being  kept  in  its  own  department, 
to  send  out  through  all  relations  its 
mild,  purifying,  tranquilizing,  but  mighty 
and  all-pervading  energy.  But  it  is  too 
much  for  one  class  of  men  to  unite  in 
the  same  hands  the  power  of  both 
worlds.  Instead  of  coalescing,  they 
should  be  vigilantly  and  efficaciously 
kept  apart. 

With  sincere  approbation  and  thanks- 
giving to  God,  I  regard  the  article  of 
our  constitution  prohibiting  forever  an 
alliance  of  any  church  with  the  state. 
And  though  I  regard  as  needless  and 
just,  the  constitutional  exclusion  of  the 
clergy  in  some  states  from  eligibility  to 
office,  as  if  the  people  were  incompetent 
12 


DR.  EEECHER'S 

to  be  trusted  in  the  selection  of  their 
own  servants ;  yet  did  I  believe  that 
they  were  incompetent,  and  that  they 
would  not  as  a  general  fact  confine  the 
clergy  to  their  own  vocation,  I  should 
much  prefer  that  the  exclusion  had  been 
universal.  For  I  have  never  witnessed 
a  clergyman  active  in  the  collision  of 
party  politics,  or  absorbed  in  secular 
cares  of  legislation,  without  feeling  and 
perceiving  that  others  felt,  that  the  man 
was  out  of  his  place,  and  religion  dis- 
graced.* 

*  No  doubt  such  avowals  will  surprise  many, 
who  have  been  led  to  suppose  that  the  writer,  and 
the  Congregational  and  Presbyterian  denominations 
with  which  he  has  been  associated,  are  in  the  van  of 
ambitious  desire,  and  sinister  intrigue,  and  unholy 
plotting  to  compass  a  union  of  church  and  state  in 
their  own  behalf.  I  have  only  to  say,  that  the  sen- 
timents on  this  subject  avowed  in  this  discourse,  are 
the  sentiments  of  my  whole  life,  and  the  regulators 
of  my  conduct  ;  and  have  been  repeatedly,  in 
various  forms,  published  within  the  last  ten  years  ; 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  135 

The  purse  and  the  sword  includes 
too  much  power  to  be  united  in  the 
same  hands.  But  how  is  the  peril  aug- 
mented when  both  these,  with  the  sanc- 
tions of  God's  eternal  government,  are 
concentrated  in  clerical  hands,  and  di- 
rected to  political  purposes,  in  the  gov- 
ernment of  nations.  Such  a  priesthood, 
as  a  body,  cannot  be  spiritual,  or  pure, 
or  safe,  but  always  has  been,  and  always 

and  are  in  accordance  with  the  views  of  the  great 
body  of  the  Congregational  and  Presbyterian  minis- 
ters whom  I  now  know,  and  have  ever  known. 
Should  any,  however,  be  still  troubled  in  mind  at 
the  apprehension  of  our  .machinations,  they  may 
well  be  tranquilized  if  they  will  search  the  records 
of  legislation  and  political  office  in  this  nation,  and 
in  all  the  states,  and  witness  how  harmless  and  im- 
potent our  intrigues  must  have  been  to  secure  either 
legislative  power  or  official  trust ;  and  how  large  a 
portion  of  popular  and  governmental  favor  has  fallen, 
happily  for  us,  as  I  think,  upon  clerical  men  without 
the  sphere  of  the  Congregational  and  Presbyterian 
denominations. 


136 


DR.  BEECHER'S 


will  be,  a  corrupt  and  intriguing  priest- 
hood, perverting  its  spiritual  power  over 
the  consciences  of  men,  to  the  control 
of  their  physical  and  civil  action  in  ac- 
cordance with  his  own  will  and  the 
purposes  of  a  despotic  government. 

The  history  of  five  hundred  years 
attests  the  baleful  influence  which  one 
of  the  feeblest  political  powers  of  Eu- 
rope has  been  able  to  exert  upon  the 
governments  around  him,  by  his  spirit- 
ual dominion  over  the  consciences  of 
their  subjects.  There  never  was  a  time 
when  the  pope  could  by  the  power  of 
arms  control  the  policy  of  surrounding 
nations ;  and  yet  for  ages,  by  the  terrors 
of  his  spiritual  power  over  the  con- 
sciences of  their  dark-minded  subjects, 
he  bound  kings  in  chains  and  princes  in 
fetters  of  iron, — because,  if  they  diso- 
beyed his  will,  he  could  by  his  power 
over  the  consciences  of  their  subjects, 
in  a  moment  blast  them  with  a  curse 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST. 


137 


and  interdict,  which  would  cause  them 
to  be  shunned  like  leprous  men,  or  sent 
out  like  Nebuchadnezzar  to  graze 
among  oxen.  It  is  the  spiritual  power 
of  the  pope  over  the  civil  destiny  of  na- 
tions, through  the  medium  of  his  priest- 
hood and  the  consciences  of  men,  which 
has  in  all  periods  rendered  the  election 
of  the  pope  a  subject  of  such  high  interest 
and  earnest  competition  and  intrigue 
by  the  different  nations  of  Europe. 

By  the  Reformation,  half  Europe 
was  disenthralled  from  the  action  of 
this  dreadful  power.  And  the  exten- 
sion of  commerce  and  the  arts,  the  illu- 
mination of  science,  the  power  of  scep- 
ticism, and  the  advance  of  liberal  opin- 
ions and  of  revolution  and  reform,  have 
done  much  in  Germany,  Switzerland, 
France,  Spain,  and  Portugal,  to  annihi- 
late this  power  of  religion,  perverted  to 
secular  ends.  But  in  Austria,  and  Bo- 
hemia, and  Ireland,  the  spell  is  not  bro- 
12* 


138  DR.   BEECHER'S 

ken ;  and  the  perverted  power  of  both 
worlds  is  concentrated  to  darken  and 
enslave  mind,  and  perpetuate  civil  and 
ecclesiastical  despotism ;  while  in  the 
nations  named,  there  are  millions  upon 
millions,  whose  physical  and  civil  action 
can  be  controlled  by  the  influence  of 
their  priesthood,  through  the  medium  of 
their  religion,  as  implicitly,  and  as  ac- 
curately as  the  soldiers  of  Frederick 
could  be  moved  to  fight  his  battles. 

But  it  is  notorious,  that  the  Catholic 
immigrants  to  this  country  are  generally 
of  the  class  least  enlightened,  and  most 
implicit  in  their  religious  subjection  to 
the  priesthood,  who  are  able,  by  their 
spiritual  ascendency,  to  direct  easily 
and  infallibly  the  exercise  of  their  civil 
rights  and  political  action.  And  it  were 
easy  to  show,  were  this  the  time  and 
place,  that  they  do  interfere  in  the  ex- 
action of  fees,  in  the  control  of  children, 
and  in  the  article  of  marriage,  as  no 


PLEA     FOR   THE    WEST.  139 

Protestant  minister  ever  did  or  would 
dare  to  attempt;  and  that  a  secular  in- 
fluence is  beginning  to  be  exerted  over 
the  political  action  of  their  dependent, 
confiding  people. 

And  is  there  no  danger  from  a  popu- 
lation of  nearly  a  million,  augmenting 
at  the  rate  of  two  or  three  hundred  thou- 
sand a  year  by  immigration ;  whose  phys- 
ical power,  and  property,  and  vote,  are, 
as  entirely  as  in  Europe,  within  the  reach 
of  clerical  influence  ?  Is  it,  then,  a  vain 
hope  of  European  potentates,  endan- 
gered by  our  free  institutions,  that  they 
shall  be  able  to  clog,  and  perplex,  and 
stop  their  movements  by  thrusting  in 
such  a  disturbing  force, — rearing  up  in 
fact  a  distinct  nation  of  their  own  sub- 
jects, organized  and  wielded  by  them, 
in  the  midst  of  us  1  Is  a  perverted  reli- 
gious power  so  feeble  and  innoxious, 
that  its  threatened  agency  in  our  politi- 
cal movements  is  to  be  slept  over  or 


140  DR.  BEECHER'S 

despised  ?  Religion  is  the  most  power- 
ful, dreadful  cause,  when  perverted, 
which  ever  mingled  a  malignant  influ- 
ence in  the  politics  of  nations  ?  But  for 
the  alliance  of  religion  with  the  state, 
and  the  intrigues  and  power  of  the 
priesthood,  Europe  had  been  for  ages 
comparatively  tranquil,  instead  of  being, 
like  a  volcano,  in  continued  action,  or  a 
ship  in  battle,  in  a  constant  blaze. 

How  dreadful  were  the  wars  of  the 
Reformation  in  Europe,  and  the  civil 
wars  which  followed,  which  could  at 
any  time  have  been  quenched,  but  that 
a  perverted  religious  zeal  inflamed  them. 
The  politics  of  the  nation  could  at  any 
time  have  been  adjusted,  but  the  religion 
never.  Far,  far  from  us  be  the  plague  of 
that  burning  which  will  break  out  and 
rage  among  us  as  it  never  raged  on 
earth,  should  a  perverted  religious  influ- 
ence introduce  among  us  this  curse  of 
nations.  For  holy  as  religion  is,  all  the 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  141 

bad  passions  gather  about  its  perverted 
standard,  and  under  the  sanctions  of  its 
hallowed  name,  and  by  all  the  aug- 
mented motives  of  eternity,  let  loose  the 
malignant  passion  of  the  desperately 
wicked  heart. 

And  let  me  ask  again,  whether  the 
Catholic  religion  in  its  union  with  the 
state,  has  proved  itself  so  unambitious, 
meek,  and  unaspiring — so  feeble,  and 
easy  to  be  entreated,  as  to  justify  a 
proud  contempt  of  its  avowed  purpose 
and  systematic  movements  to  secure  an 
ascendency  in  this  nation  ?  Is  it  acci- 
dental that  in  alliance  with  despotic 
governments,  it  has  swayed  a  sceptre  of 
iron,  for  ten  centuries,  over  nearly  one 
third  of  the  population  of  the  globe,  and 
by  a  death  of  violence  is  estimated  to 
have  swept  from  the  earth  about  sixty- 
eight  millions  of  its  inhabitants,  and 
holds  now  in  darkness  and  bondage 
nearly  half  the  civilized  world  1 


142  DR.  BEECHER'S 

In  all  this  long  career  of  evil  it  is 
not  the  personal  character  of  individu- 
als which  perverted  the  system  and  sent 
out  the  results,  but  the  system  which 
perverted  personal  character.  It  was 
the  energy  of  an  absolute  spiritual  do- 
minion in  corrupt  alliance  with  political 
despotism — displaying  their  perverting 
power  and  acting  out  their  own  nature. 
It  is  the  most  skillful,  powerful,  dreadful 
system  of  corruption  to  those  who  wield 
it  and  of  debasement  and  slavery  to 
those  who  live  under  it,  which  ever 
spread  darkness  and  desolation  over 
the  earth. 

And  yet  over  all  its  track  of  blood 
it  has  thrown  the  exterior  of  high  devo- 
tion, great  sanctity,  and  eminent  purity 
and  benevolence.  It  boasts  a  venerable 
antiquity,  and  claims  a  lineal  descent 
from  primitive  Christianity,  and  blazons 
on  its  roll  of  fame  the  names  of  many 
holy  and  illustrious  men.  Some  of  its 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  143 

doctrines  are  true,  and  some  of  its  in- 
stitutions are  wise,  and  the  self-denial 
and  good  deeds  of  some  of  its  clergy 
and  sisters  of  charity,  in  the  visitation 
of  the  sick  and  the  education  of  the 
poor,  are  worthy  of  imitation.     But  it 
is  a  religion  exclusive  in  its  claims  and 
awful  in  its  sanctions,  and  terrific  in  its 
power  of  declaring  sins  remitted  or  re- 
tained.   By  the  confessional  it  searches 
the  heart,  lea-rns  the  thoughts,  and  mo- 
tives, and  habits,  and  condition  of  indi- 
viduals and  families,  and  thus  acquires 
the  means  of  an  unlimited  ascendency 
over  mind  by  the   united  influence  of 
both  worlds.    It  is  majestic  and  impo- 
sing in  its  ceremonies,  dazzling  by  its 
lights  and  ornaments,    vestments   and 
gorgeous  drapery,  and  fascinating  by  the 
power  of  music  and  the  breathing  mar- 
ble and  living  canvas,   and  all  the  di- 
versified contributions  of  art — strong  in 
the   patronage  of  the  great,    and  the 


144  DR.  BEECHER'S 

power  of  wealth  and  the  versatilities  of 
art,  and  unlimited  in  its  powers  of  ac- 
commodation to  the  various  characters, 
tastes,  and  conditions  of  men.  For  the 
profound,  it  has  metaphysics  and  philos- 
ophy— the  fine  arts  for  men  of  taste, 
and  wealth,  and  fashion — signs  and 
wonders  for  the  superstitious — forbear- 
ance for  the  sceptic — toleration  for  the 
liberal,  who  eulogize  and  aid  her  cause 
— enthusiasm  for  the  ardent — -lenity  for 
the  voluptuous,  and  severity  for  the 
austere — fanaticism  for  the  excited,  and 
mysticism  for  moody  musing.  For  the 
formalist,  rites  and  ceremonies — for  the 
moral,  the  merit  of  good  works,  and  for 
those  who  are  destitute,  the  merits  of 
the  saints  at  accommodating  prices — 
for  the  poor,  penance — extreme  unction 
for  the  dying,  and  masses  for  the  spirits 
in  prison,  who,  by  donation,  or  testa- 
ment, or  by  their  friends,  provide  the 
requisite  ransom. 


PLEA   FOR   THE    WEST.  145 

This  is  the  religion  so  powerful  in 
the  combined  energies  of  earth  and 
heaven— "so  dextrous  in  their  applica- 
tion— so  gigantic  in  its  past  energies — 
so  enslaving  and  terrible  in  its  recorded 
deeds,  and  yet  in  its  present  appearance, 
so  mild,  meek,  unassuming,  and  muni- 
ficent, which  is  coming  in  among  us,  a 
comparative  stranger — the  records  of 
its  history  denied,  or  forgotten,  or  cov- 
ered by  a  charity  that  would  belt  the 
zones,  and  span  the  earth — coming  by 
numbers  to  outnumber  us,  and  by  votes 
to  outvote  us,  and  by  the  competitions 
of  European  munificence  to  secure  aa 
ascendant  influence  in  the  education  of 
the  young  republicans  of  our  nation. 

This  religion  is  wielded  by  a  priest- 
hood educated,  for  the  most  part,  in  the 
despotic  governments  of  Europe,  of  re- 
cent naturalization  and  retaining  the 
ecclesiastical  and  political  partialities 
of  their  country  and  early  associations. 
13 


146  DR.  BEECHER'S 

Were  they  allied  to  us  by  family  and 
ties  of  blood,  like  the  ministry  of  all 
other  denominations,  there  would  be 
less  to  be  feared,  and  common  interests 
would  produce  gradually  but  certainly 
an  unreluctant  assimilation.  But  as  it 
is,  they  stand  out  from  society,  a  sepa- 
rate, insulated  male  ecclesiastical  asso- 
ciation, with  property  and  interests  pe- 
culiarly their  own;  with  an  irresponsible 
and  despotic  power  over  the  conscien- 
ces, and  physical  and  civil  action  of 
numbers,  quite  too  great  and  influential 
for  the  safety  of  republican  institutions, 
where  every  thing  depends  on  the  free 
and  enlightened  action  of  public  senti- 
ment. 

This  anti-republican  tendency  of 
clerical  influence  is  augmented  in  our 
nation,  by  the  fact  that  the  control  of 
suffrage,  and  secular  patronage,  and 
education,  and  power  of  conscience,  is 
under  the  predominant  influence  of  the 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  147 

society  of  Jesuits ;  an  order  of  men  as- 
sociated at  the  reformation,  to  stay  its 
progress,  and  sustain  and  extend  the 
cause  of  the  Papacy — clothed  with  high 
privileges  and  devoted  by  oath  to  im- 
plicit obedience  to  his  holiness — possess- 
ing the  advantages  of  an  efficient  or- 
ganization, and  the  energy  of  a  despotic 
will,  equal  to  the  control  of  a  com- 
mander-in-chief  over  every  officer  and 
private  in  his  army,  and  wielding  the 
power  which  belongs  to  talent,  learning, 
wealth,  numbers,  and  a  deep  knowledge 
of  human  nature,  and  the  means  of 
touching  dextrously  every  spring  of  ac- 
tion, and  securing  every  complexity  of 
movement  for  religious  and  political 
purposes — trained  as  courtiers,  confes- 
sors, teachers,  diplomatists,  saints,  spies, 
and  working  men,  to  influence  and  con- 
trol the  destiny  of  nations,  and  guided 
also  by  a  morality  which  permits  the 
end  to  sanctify  the  means.  An  asso- 


148  DR.  BEECHER'S 

elation  of  more  moral  and  political 
power  than  was  ever  concentrated  on 
the  earth — twice  suppressed  as  too  for- 
midable for  the  crowned  despotism  of 
Europe,  and  an  overmatch  for  his  holi- 
ness himself — and  twice  restored  as 
indispensable  to  the  waning  power  of 
the  holy  see.  And  now  with  the  ad- 
vantages of  its  past  mistakes  and  ex- 
perience, this  order  is  in  full  organiza- 
tion, silent,  systematized,  un watched, 
and  unresisted  action  among  us,  to  try 
the  dexterity  of  its  movements,  and  the 
potency  of  its  power  upon  unsuspecting, 
charitable,  credulous  republicans. 

That  the  Jesuits  will  ever  regain 
their  former  ascendency  is  not  to  be 
apprehended ;  but  is  no  influence  of  their 
secret  organization  and  intrigue,  short 
of  its  former  terrific  energy,  to  be 
feared  ?  Was  ever  a  more  ample  field 
for  intrigue  opened  before  them  than 
our  country  presents, — or  more  accessi- 


PLEA    FOR   THE   WEST.  149 

ble  and  unwatched, — or  filled  with  ma- 
terials more  powerfully  adapted  to  per- 
plex the  movements  of  our  government, 
and  make  confusion  worse  confounded  7 

Doubtless,  the  Catholic  religion  can 
never  acquire  a  permanent  ascendency 
in  this  nation  by  force,  and  a  formal 
union  of  church  and  state ;  but  a  king- 
dom or  nation  divided  against  itself  is 
brought  to  desolation.  And  is  it  impos- 
sible to  embody  such  an  amount  of 
Catholic  influence  by  copious  immigra- 
tion, and  unity  of  action,  and  Jesuit 
intrigue,  as  to  divide  us  1  Is  the  task 
so  impossible,  or  difficult,  as  to  throw 
contempt  upon  the  systematized  action 
of  an  order  of  men,  once  the  most  pow- 
erful that  ever  conspired  against  liberty, 
or  held  competition  with  despotic  pow- 
ers ? 

Were  we  all,  as  Americans  and  re- 
publicans, apprised  of  the  danger,  and 
united  in  mild  and  efficient  measures, 
13* 


150  DR.  BEECHER'S 

it  would  still  be  a  subject  of  deep  in- 
terest and  great  difficulty.  If  none 
were  indiscreet  and  violent,  and  none 
sympathized  with  the  Catholics,  as 
abused  and  persecuted,  and  none  from 
a  greater  hatred  of  the  Protestant  than 
the  Catholic  religion  and  none  from 
secular  interest,  and  political  favoritism, 
sympathized  with  them,  the  floods  of 
unprepared,  confiding  mind,  rolling  in 
upon  us  to  augment  the  power  of  a 
Jesuit  priesthood,  might  well  awaken 
solicitude  and  demand  circumspection. 
But  who  can  preclude,  in  so  exciting 
and  delicate  an  emergency,  all  but  wise 
councils  and  discreet  action,  or  prevent 
the  affinities  of  prejudice,  and  hate,  and 
political  ambition  from  gathering  nom- 
inal Protestants  about  the  Catholic 
standard  ;  and  who  can  abide  the  day, 
should  the  politics  of  this  nation  become 
perplexed  and  infuriated  with  the  viru- 
lence of  a  religious  controversy. 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  151 

It  is  true  that  Catholicity  in  Europe 
is  on  the  retreat  before  the  march  of 
liberal  opinions  and  institutions  ;  but  it 
is  no  less  true  that  it  is  still,  in  numbers, 
wealth,  and  political  dominion  over 
mind,  a  terrible  power,  and  precisely 
such  an  enemy  as  has  often  given  a 
desperate  battle;  and  inspiration  teaches 
that  the  dying  struggles  of  this  system 
will  be  among  the  most  gigantic  and 
terrible,  and  such  are  the  existing  prog- 
nostics of  its  destiny. 

If^the  Catholic  religion  were  simply 
an  insulated  system  of  religious  error, 
it  might  be  expected  to  fade  away  with- 
out a  struggle  before  the  augmenting, 
overpowering  light  of  truth ;  but  it  has 
always  been,  and  still  is,  a  political  re- 
ligion,— a  religion  of  state;  and  though 
its  ambitious  encroachments  reconciled 
the  potentates  of  Europe  to  its  waning 
power,  the  experience  of  the  last  thirty 
years  has  taught  them,  that  they  have 
overacted  in  the  humiliation  of  his  holi- 


152  DR.  BEECHER'S 

ness  and  the  church,  that  her  downfall 
opens  the  door  to  revolution  and  the 
march  of  liberty,  that  the  Catholic 
church  is  as  indispensable  to  the  throne, 
as  the  throne  is  to  the  church,  and  that 
without  her  influence  over  mind,  they 
cannot  meet  and  stem  the  spirit  of  the 
age  ;  and  now  they  are  beginning,  with 
new  decision,  to  rally  again  around  the 
church,  and  to  give  to  her  their  secu- 
lar aid,  while  she  repays  them  by  the 
energy  of  her  spiritual  dominion  over 
mind.  • 

Hence  it  is,  that  under  the  auspices 
of  the  Greek  church,  the  emperor  of 
Russia  declares,  "  as  long  as  I  live,  I 
will  oppose  a  will  of  iron  to  the  pro- 
gress of  liberal  opinions,"  and  has  pre- 
scribed to  the  ill-fated  Poles  a  catechism 
in  equal  quantities  of  despotism  and 
blasphemy. 

The  empire  of  Austria  is  also  her- 
metically sealed  against  the  admission 
of  light. 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  153 

A  late  intelligent  American  traveler 
in  Austria,  says : 

"And  what  are  the  people  of  Austria  1 
They  are  slaves,  slaves  in  body  and 
mind,  whipped  and  disciplined  by  priests 
to  have  no  opinion  of  their  own,  and 
taught  to  consider  their  emperor  their 
God.  They  are  the  jest  and  by- word 
of  the  northern  Germans,  who  never 
speak  of  Austrians  but  with  a  sneer, 
and  "  as  slaves  unworthy  the  name  of 
Germans  ;  as  slaves  both  mentally  and 
physically."* 

In  accordance  with  this  Austrian 
policy  of  keeping  out  the  light  and 
maintaining  the  empire  of  darkness,  his 
present  holiness,  pope  Gregory  XVI, 
lamenting,  in  1832,  the  disorders  and 
infidelity  of  the  times,  says  : 

"  From  this  polluted  fountain  of 
'  Indifference,'  flows  that  absurd  and 
erroneous  doctrine,  or  rather  raving,  in 
*  Dwight, 


154  DR.  JBEECHER'S 

favor  and  defence  of  '  liberty  of  con- 
science;' for  which  most  pestilential 
error,  the  course  is  opened  for  that  en- 
tire and  wild  liberty  of  opinion,  which 
is  every  where  attempting  the  over- 
throw of  religious  and  civil  institutions ; 
and  which  the  unblushing  impudence 
of  some  has  held  forth  as  an  advantage 
to  religion.  Hence  that  pest,  of  all  others 
most  to  be  dreaded  in  a  state,  unbri- 
dled liberty  of  opinion,  licentiousness  of 
speech,  and  a  lust  of  novelty,  which, 
according  to  the  experience  of  all  ages, 
portend  the  downfall  of  the  most  pow- 
erful and  flourishing  empires." 

"  Hither  tends  that  worst  and  never 
sufficiently  to  be  execrated  and  detested 
LIBERTY  OF  THE  PRESS,  for  the  diffusion 
of  all  manner  of  writings,  which  some 
so  loudly  contend  for,  and  so  actively 
promote." 

He  complains,  too,  of  the  dissemina- 
tion of  unlicensed  books. 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  155 

"  No  means  must  be  here  omitted, 
says  Clement  XIII.)  our  predecessor  of 
happy  memory,  in  the  Encyclical  Letter 
on  the  proscription  of  bad  books — '  no 
means  must  be  here  omitted,  as  the  ex- 
tremity of  the  case  calls  for  all  our 
exertions,  to  exterminate  the  fatal  pest 
which  spreads  through  so  many  works ; 
nor  can  the  materials  of  error  be  other- 
wise destroyed  than  by  thejlames,  which 
consume  the  depraved  elements  of  the 
evil.'  " 

And  to  aid  him  in  the  work  of  burn- 
ing liberal  books  and  crushing  the  efforts 
of  patriots  to  break  their  chains  and 
secure  liberty,  Austrian  bayonets  are 
placed  at  his  disposal. 

"  In  the  year  1828  the  celebrated 
Frederick  Schlegel,  one  of  the  most 
distinguished  literary  men  of  Europe, 
delivered  lectures  at  Vienna  on  the 
Philosophy  of  History,  (which  have  not 
been  translated  into  English,)  a  great 


DR.  BEECHER'S 

object  of  which  is  to  show  the  mutual 
support  which  Popery  and  Monarchy 
derive  from  each  other.  He  commends 
the  two  systems  in  connection  as  de- 
serving of  universal  reception.  He  at- 
tempts to  prove  that  sciences,  and  arts, 
and  all  the  pursuits  of  man  as  an  intel- 
lectual being,  are  best  promoted  under 
this  perfect  system  of  church  and  state ; 
a  Pope  at  the  head  of  the  former ;  an 
Emperor  at  the  head  of  the  latter.  He 
contrasts  with  this,  the  system  of  Pro- 
testantism ;  represents  Protestantism  as 
the  enemy  of  good  government,  as  the 
ally  of  Republicanism,  as  the  parent 
of  the  distresses  of  Europe,  as  the  cause 
of  all  the  disorders  with  which  legiti- 
mate governments  are  afflicted.  In  the 
close  of  lecture  17th,  vol.  ii.  p.  286,  he 
thus  speaks  of  this  country  :  '  The  TRUE 
NURSERY  of  all  these  destructive  princi- 
ples, the  REVOLUTIONARY  SCHOOL  for 

France  and  the  rest  of  Europe,  has  been 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST. 

NORTH  AMERICA.  Thence  the  evil  has 
spread  over  many  other  lands,  either  by 
natural  contagion,  or  by  arbitrary  com- 


"  But  who  is  Frederick  Schlegel  ? 
He  may  be  a  great  scholar,  but  what  is 
his  situation  that  so  much  weight  is  to 
be  attached  to  his  opinions  1  I  will 
give  my  readers  a  brief  account  of 
him,  abridged  from  the  Encyclopedia 
Americana,  (edited  by  a  German)  suf- 
ficient to  enable  them  to  judge  if  too 
much  stress  is  laid  upon  his  opinions. 
:  Frederick  Schlegel,  (one  of  the  great 
literary  stars  of  Germany)  went  over 
to  the  Catholic  faith,  at  Cologne,  and 
in  the  year  1800  repaired  to  Vienna. 
In  1809  he  received  an  appointment  at 
the  head  quarters  of  Arch  Duke  Charles, 
where  he  drew  up  several  powerful 
proclamations.  When  peace  was  con- 
cluded, he  again  delivered  lectures  in 
Vienna  on  modern  History  and  the 
14 


158  DR.  BEECHER'S 

literature  of  all  nations.  In  1812,  he 
published  the  German  Museum,  and 
gained  the  confidence  of  Prince  Metter- 
nich  by  various  diplomatic  papers,  in 
consequence  of  ivhich  he  was  appointed 
Austrian  counsellor  of  legation  at  the 
diet  in  Frankfort.  In  1818  he  returned 
to  Vienna,  where  he  lived  as  SECRE- 
TARY OF  THE  COURT  and  COUNSELLOR  OF 
LEGATION,  and  published  a  view  of  the 
Present  Political  relations  [of  Austria] 
and  his  complete  works.'  In  1828  he 
delivered  his  lectures  on  the  Philosophy 
of  History,  in  which  his  views  as  I  have 
stated  them  are  fully  developed. 

"  This  is  the  man  whose  opinions  on 
the  relation  of  Popery  and  Monarchy, 
and  Protestantism  and  Republicanism, 
and  of  the  influence  of  the  United 
States,  have  been  followed  by  the  ac- 
tion of  the  Austrians,  in  the  formation 
of  the  St.  Leopold  foundation.  He  was. 
part  and  parcel  of  the  government ;  he 


PLEA   FOR  THE  WEST.  159 

Was  ONE  OF  THE  AUSTRIAN  CABINET, 
THE  CONFIDENTIAL  COUNSELLOR  OF  PRINCE 
METTERNICH.''* 

It  is  doubtless  in  the  exertion  of  this 
plan  of  resuscitating  the  Catholic  reli- 
gion on  account  of  its  political  subser- 
viency to  the  thrones  of  Europe,  that 
St.  Domingo  is  coming  into  remem- 
brance, and  that  efforts  are  making  to 
establish  in  that  island  the  spiritual 
dominion  of  a  Catholic  priesthood  ;  and 
that  in  all  the  South  American  conti- 
nent the  cause  of  liberty  is  on  the  wane, 
before  the  united  influence  of  military 
chieftains  and  the  Catholic  priesthood. 

All  the  signs  of  the  times  indicate 
the  coming  on  of  that  next  European 
conflict  of  which  prophetic  Canning 
spoke,  as  long  and  dreadful,  a  war  of 
opinion — a  war  of  liberty  against  des- 
potism, and  which  is  to  terminate  in  the 

*  Preface  to  "  Foreign  Conspiracy" — pages  17, 
18,  and  19. 


160  DR.  BEECHER'S 

emancipation   or  hopeless   bondage  of 
the  world. 

In  this  view  of  the  subject,  the 
Catholicity  of  this  nation,  and  its  rapid 
increase,  cannot  be  safely  regarded  as 
a  mere  insulated  religion,  but  rather  as 
one  department  of  a  comprehensive  ef- 
fort to  maintain  despotic  government 
against  the  march  of  free  institutions, 
by  an  invigorated  union  of  ecclesiasti- 
cal and  political  power ;  and  though  the 
Catholics  among  us  may,  as  a  body,  be 
unapprized  of  this  policy,  and  ought  not 
to  be  reviled,  or  denounced,  or  falsely 
accused,  or  assailed  by  rumor,  and  in- 
vidious epithets,  neither  are  they  to  be 
unwatched,  or  entrusted  with  the  edu- 
cation of  the  nation,  or  the  balance  of 
her  suffrage. 

No  opinion  is  more  unfounded  or 
pernicious  than  the  one  so  often  ex- 
pressed, that  the  Catholic  church  stands 
on  the  same  foundation,  in  respect  to 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  161 

its  republican  tendencies,  with  all  the 
other  religious  denominations  in  our 
land.  There  is  no  denomination  but 
the  Catholic  which  acknowledges  im- 
plicit subjection  to  the  spiritual  domin- 
ion of  a  foreign  prince  in  whom  the 
church  and  state  are  united,  and  whose 
political  relations  modify,  by  the  in- 
trigues of  the  European  powers,  his 
ecclesiastical  decisions — a  prince  de- 
pendent on  the  protection,  and  under 
the  control  of  one  of  the  most  despotic 
governments  of  Europe.  There  is  no 
church  but  the  Catholic  in  our  land 
which  claims  infallibility,  and  the  right 
of  a  universal  spiritual  jurisdiction,  and 
makes  heresy  a  capital  offence,  punish- 
able with  political  disfranchisement  and 
with  torture  and  death — none  whose 
clergy  are  chiefly  foreigners,  dependent 
for  investiture,  and  honor,  and  support,* 

*  The  bishop  of  Kentucky,  writing  to  Europe, 
says :   "  Generally,  we  ought  to  consider   all  the 

14* 


162  DR.  BEECHER'S 

on  a  foreign  jurisdiction,  and  whose 
most  active  correspondence,  and  strong- 
est sympathies,  and  most  powerful  mo- 
tives of  action,  lie  abroad  and  cluster 
about  thrones,  and  dominions,  and  prin- 
cipalities, and  powers,  adverse  to  our 
institutions — none  which  claims  and 
exercises  the  right  of  inhibiting  the 
reading  of  the  Bible  but  with  express 
permission  of  a  priest,  and  denounces 
the  right  of  private  interpretation,  and 
inculcates,  wholly,  the  obligation  of 
believing  implicitly  as  popes  and  coun- 
cils have  believed.  There  is  in  this 
country,  beside  the  Catholic,  no  denom- 
ination, any  principles  of  whose  religion 
are  anti-republican,  or  whose  influen- 
tial officers  denounce  republican  insti- 

bishoprics  of  America  as  sees  destitute  of  all  re- 
sources, which  can  never  be  solidly  established 
unless,  for  half  a  century,  they  are  aided  by  rich 
and  pious  souls  in  Europe." — Quarterly  Register, 
vol.  2.  p.  196. 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  163 

tutions,  free  inquiry,  and  the  liberty  of 
the  press,  as  they  have  been  denounced 
by  the  reigning  pope,  and  opposed  by 
Catholic  potentates  of  Europe — none 
which  makes  the  confidential  confes- 
sion of  sin  to  a  priest  indispensable  to 
forgiveness,  or  claims  the  right  of  selling 
indulgences  for  sins  past,  or  to  come — 
of  selling  prayers  for  the  deliverance  of 
souls  from  purgatory — none  whose  in- 
terests are  in  the  hands  of  a  secret  as- 
sociation of  men,  bound  by  oath  to 
obey,  implicitly,  his  holiness  in  the  pro- 
pagation of  the  Catholic  religion — the 
most  powerful  secret  organization  that 
ever  existed,  and  now  sustained  by  the 
royal  munificence  of  European  Catho- 
lics, and  occupied  in  rearing  powerful 
institutions  for  the  education  of  our  sons 
and  daughters.  There  is  in  this  country 
no  religion  but  the  Catholic  which 
claims  the  right  of  interfering  with  the 
political  affairs  of  nations  by  the  inter- 


164  DR.  BEECHER'S 

position  of  ecclesiastical  authority,  re- 
leasing subjects  from  their  oaths  of  alle- 
giance, and  putting  down  and  setting 
up  the  powers  that  be,  or  who  have 
manifested  a  desire,  or  commenced  the 
attempt,  by  the  exclusion  of  lay  trus- 
tees, to  secure  all  church  property  in 
ecclesiastical  hands. 

Among  the  deliberations  of  the  late 
Catholic  convention,  at  Baltimore,  they 
say,  in  their  European  correspondence, 
that  one  subject  of  consideration  was, 

"  What  is  necessary  to  be  done  in 
regard  to  trustees,  and  the  means  of  re- 
pressing their  pretensions  ?  It  is  known 
what  disputes  and  scandals  have  arisen 
on  this  subject,  and,  it  may  be  said,  it 
is  one  of  the  greatest  scourges  of  the 
church  in  the  United  States ;  and  one 
of  the  priests,  writing  to  a  mutual  friend 
in  Europe,  says :  '  The  bishop  has  the 
happiness  of  governing  his  churches 
without  church  wardens.  By  this  me- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  165 

thod  you  see  we  are  at  peace,  although 
without  help.  Were  we  to  establish 
them,  they  might  be  very  useful  to  us ; 
but  we  should  fear  schisms  and  dissen- 
sions; of  all  evils  the  greatest  despo- 
tism exercised  against  the  pastors,  and 
division  and  disorder  in  many  other 
churches,  assure  us  fully  of  this.  Better 
then  is  poverty  and  dependence  on  the 
charity  of  the  faithful,  than  tyranny.'  "* 

The  desire  seems  here  to  be  avowed 
of  securing  the  entire  property  of  the 
Catholic  church  in  the  United  States, 
by  some  means,  in  the  hands  of  the 
clergy,  regarding  the  inspection  and  in- 
fluence of  lay  trustees,  even  though 
Catholics,  as  tending  to  schisms,  despo- 
tism against  the  pastors,  and  constitu- 
ting one  of  the  greatest  scourges  of  the 
church. 

But  it  'is  said  the  Catholic  religion 
is  not  what  it  used  to  be,  the  claims  and 

*  Quarterly  Register,  vol.  3.  pp.  91  and  96. 


166  DR.  BBECHER'S 

dogmas,  and  bigotry,  and  persecuting 
maxims,  and  superstitions  of  the  Catho- 
lic church  have  passed  away.  She  has 
felt  the  spirit  of  the  age,  and  yielded  to 
its  demands,  and  henceforth,  and  espe- 
cially in  this  country,  we  have  to  anti- 
cipate only  a  revised  and  corrected  edi- 
tion of  the  Catholic  church. 

As  republicans  and  Christians,  we 
certainly  hail  the  day  when  the  Catho- 
lic church  shall  be  reformed,  and  we  are 
not  reluctant  to  believe,  on  proper  evi- 
dence, that  the  Catholics  of  this  country 
perceive  and  renounce  the  past  unscrip- 
tural  and  anti-republican  claims,  max- 
ims, and  deeds  of  the  church  of  Rome. 
We  only  desire  that  their  professions 
and  disclaimers  should  not  be  received 
in  evidence  that  the  Roman  church  is 
reformed,  till  the  same  authority  which 
enacted  her  erroneous  maxims  and  au- 
thorized the  unchristian  conduct,  has 
conceded  her  fallibility  and  repealed 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  167 

the  criminal  decisions  of  her  popes  and 
councils,  and  professed  repentance  for 
her  evil  deeds,  and  made  proclamation 
that  she  admits  her  members  to  rights  of 
conscience,  and  free  inquiry,  and  civil 
liberty  ;  but  so  long  as  the  infallibility 
of  the  church  is  claimed,  and  all  her 
maxims  remain  unrepealed,  and  are 
rigidly  enforced  wherever  the  march 
of  liberal  opinions  has  not  compelled  a 
relaxation.  Such  disclaimers  can  be 
regarded  only  as  evidence  of  what  ne- 
cessity extorts  and  expediency  dictates, 
and  the  accommodating  policy  of  the 
church  has  always  permitted  to  her 
loyal  sons. 

Who  is  it  then  that  makes  the  pro- 
clamation, that  the  Catholic  Church 
has  discovered  her  mistakes  in  past 
ages  and  is  reformed  1  Has  the  pope 
announced  it  1  Has  the  general  council 
decreed  it  1  Has  the  Catholic  conven- 
tion at  Baltimore  placed  it  upon  their 


168  DR.  BEECHER'S 

records  ?  Has  a  single  Catholic  bishop 
or  priest  admitted  or  claimed  that  the 
Catholic  church  has  been,  by  the  proper 
authorities,  revised  and  corrected  in  any 
material  point  of  doctrine,  discipline,  or 
practice.  Not  one — and  no  Catholic 
will  say  it,  who  has  any  character  to 
Jose,  or  frowns  to  fear  from  superior 
power. 

The  church  cannot  be  reformed  as  a 
church  only  by  the  pope  and  a  general 
council.  The  question  of  revision  and 
change  is  therefore  simply  a  matter  of 
historical  fact.  When,  where,  and  in 
what  respect^,  has  the  pope  and  a  gene- 
ral council  changed  the  claims,  maxims, 
doctrines,  or  established  usages  of  the 
church  ?  When  and  where  has  it  been 
decreed  that  liberty  of  conscience,  and 
civil  liberty,  are  the  birth-right  of  man 
— that  reading  the  Bible  is  the  right  of 
man  and  not  a  privilege  to  be  conferred 
— that  private  interpretation  is  the  duty 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  169 

of  man  instead  of  implicit  confidence  in 
the  exposition  of  others — that  persecu- 
tion for  conscience  sake  is  tyranny,  and 
the  deeds  of  the  inquisition  an  abomina- 
tion in  the  sight  of  God.  What  one  of 
her  maxims,  avowed  centuries  ago,  has 
she  expunged  and  does  not  rather  en- 
force to  the  present  hour  at  Rome  and 
Vienna  ?  What  are  the  powerful  prin- 
ciples of  collision  which  now  agitate 
Europe  and  South  America  but  those  of 
civil  liberty  and  despotic  power 7  And 
on  which  side,  when  uncoerced,  is  his 
holiness,  and  his  cardinals,  and  bishops, 
and  priesthood  ?  Every  where  in  Por- 
tugal, in  Spain,  in  France,  and  in  Italy, 
and  South  America,  on  the  side  of  mo- 
narchical, and  in  opposition  to  liberal 
institutions. 

But  we  have  documentary  evidence 
which  settles  the  questions.     The  fol- 
lowing is  from  a  treatise  by  M.  Aignan, 
of  the  French  Academy,  the  second  edi- 
15 


170  DR.  BEECHER'S 

tkm  of  which  was  published  at  Paris  in 
1818. 

"  Passing  to  the  10th  article  of  the 
Concordat,  in  which  it  is  said  that  His 
Most  Christian  Majesty  shall  employ, 
in  concert  with  the  Holy  Father,  all  the 
means  in  his  power  to  cause  to  cease,  as 
soon  as  possible,  all  the  disorders  and 
obstacles  which  obstruct  the  welfare  of 
religion,  and  the  execution  of  the  laws 
of  the  church — were  [the  Protestants] 
to  ask,  (although  the  profuse  shedding 
of  their  blood  might  have  informed 
them,)  '  what  are  the  laws  of  the 
church?'  the  acts  of  Pius  VII.  himself, 
and  the  writings  on  which  the  church 
rests  her  authority  would  answer,  THE 

EXTERMINATION  OF  HERETICS,  THE  CONFIS- 
CATION OF  THEIR  GOODS,  AND  THEIR  PRIVA- 
TION OF  EVERY  CIVIL  PRIVILEGE."  To 

this  the  author  subjoins  in  a  note : 
"  Certain  portions  of  real  estate,  which 
had  belonged  to  ecclesiastics,had  passed 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  171 

into  the  hands  of  Protestant  princes. 
Pius  VII.  in  1805,  complained  of  it  to 
his  nuncio  residing  at  Vienna ;  and  re- 
minded him  that,  according  to  the  laws 
of  the  church,  not  only  could  not  heretics 
possess  ecclesiastical  property,  but  that 
also  they  could  not  possess  any  pro- 
perty whatever,  since  the  crime  of  heresy 
ought  to  be  punished  by  the  confiscation 
of  goods.  He  added,  that  the  subjects 
of  a  prince,  who  is  a  heretic,  should  be 
released  from  every  duty  to  him,  freed 
from  all  obligation  and  all  homage. 
c  In  truth,'  said  he,  '  we  have  fallen  on 
times  so  calamitous,  and  so  humiliating 
to  the  spouse  of  Jesus  Christ,  that  it  is 
not  possible  for  her  to  practise,  nor  ex- 
pedient to  recall  so  holy  maxims ;  and 
she  is  forced  to  interrupt  the  course  of 
her  just  severities  against  the  enemies  of 
the  faith.  But  if  she  cannot  exercise 
her  right  to  depose  the  partisans  of 
heresy  from  their  principalities,  and 


172  DR.  BEECHER'S 

declare  that  they  have  forfeited  all 
their  goods ;  can  she  ever  permit  that, 
to  enrich  themselves,  they  should  de- 
spoil her  of  her  own  proper  dominions  1 
What  a  subject  of  derision  would  she 
not  present  to  these  very  heretics  and 
unbelievers,  who,  while  they  insulted 
her  grief,  would  say  they  had  discovered 
the  method  of  rendering  her  tolerant  V 

"  The  same  pontiff,  in  his  instructions 
to  his  agents  in  Poland,  given  in  1808, 
professes  this  doctrine,  that  the  laws  of 
the  church  do  not  recognize  any  civil 
privileges  as  belonging  to  persons  not 
Catholic;  that  their  marriages  are  not 
valid  ;  that  they  can  live  only  in  concubi- 
nage ;  that  their  children,  being  bastards, 
are  incapacitated  to  inherit;  that  the 
Catholics  themselves  are  not  validly 
married,  except  they  are  united  accord- 
ing to  the  rules  prescribed  by  the  court 
of  Rome ;  and  that,  when  they  are  mar- 
ried according  to  these  rules,  their  mar- 


PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST.  173 

riage  is  valid,  had  they,  in  other  respects, 
infringed  all  the  laws  of  their  country"* 
The  present  pontiff  declares  that 
"  From  this  polluted  fountain  of '  In- 
difference/ flows  that  absurd  and  erro- 
neous doctrine,  or  rather  raving,  in  favor 
and  defence  of  '  liberty  of  conscience ;' 
from  which  most  pestilential  error,  the 
course  is  opened  for  that  entire  and 
wild  liberty  of  opinion,  which  is  every 
where  attempting  the  overthrow  of  reli- 
gious and  civil  institutions ;  and  which 
the  unblushing  impudence  of  some  has 
held  forth  as  an  advantage  to  religion. 
Hence,  that  pest,  of  all  others  most  to  be 
dreaded  in  a  state,  unbridled  liberty  of 
opinion,  licentiousness  of  speech,  and  -a 
lust  of  novelty,  which,  according  to  the 
experience  of  all  ages,  portend  the  down- 
fall of  the  most  powerful  and  flourishing 
empires." 

*  Quarterly  Register,  vol.  3,  page  89. 
15* 


174  DR.  BEECHER'S 

"  Hither  tends  that  worst  and  never 
sufficiently  to  be  execrated  and  detested 
LIBERTY  OP  THE  PRESS,  for  the  diffusion 
of  all  manner  of  writings,  which  some 
so  loudly  contend  for,  and  so  actively 
promote." 

He  complains,  too,  of  the  dissemina- 
tion of  unlicensed  books. 

"  No  means  must  be  here  omitted," 
says  Clement  XIII.,  our  predecessor  of 
happy  memory,  in  the  Encyclical  Let- 
ter on  the  proscription  of  bad  books — 
"  no  means  must  be  here  omitted,  as  the 
extremity  of  the  case  calls  for  all  our 
exertions,  to  exterminate  the  fatal  pest 
which  spreads  through  so  many  works; 
nor  can  the  materials  of  error  be  other- 
wise destroyed  than  by  the  flames,  which 
consume  the  depraved  elements  of  the 
evil." 

To  the  question,  "  What  is  to  be 
done  1"  I  would  say  a  few  things  to 
obviate  misapprehension,  and  indicate 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  175 

what  would  seem  to  be  the  plain  prac- 
tical course. 

In  the  first  place,  while  the  language 
of  indiscriminate  discourtesy  towards 
immigrants,  calculated  to  wound  their 
feelings,  and  cast  odium  on  respectable 
and  industrious  foreigners,  is  carefully 
to  be  avoided ;  an  immediate  and  ener- 
getic supervision  of  our  government  is 
demanded  to  check  the  influx  of  immi- 
grant paupers,  thrown  upon  our  shores 
by  the  governments  of  Europe,  corrupt- 
ing our  morals,  quadrupling  our  taxa- 
tion, and  endangering  the  peace  of  our 
cities,  and  of  our  nation. 

It  is  equally  plain,  also,  that  while 
we  admit  the  population  of  Europe  to 
a  participation  in  the  blessings  of  our 
institutions  and  ample  territory,  it  is 
both  our  right  and  duty  so  to  regulate 
the  influx  and  the  conditions  of  natu- 
ralization, that  the  increase  shall  not 
outrun  the  possibility  of  intellectual  and 


176  DR.  BEECHER'S 

moral  culture,  and  the  unregulated  ac- 
tion of  the  European  population  bring 
down  destruction  on  ourselves  and 
them.  In  what  manner  the  means  of 
self-preservation  shall  be  applied,  it 
does  not  belong  to  my  province  to  say. 
Doubtless  a  perfect  remedy  may  be 
difficult,  perhaps  impossible ;  but  should 
we  therefore  look  upon  the  appalling 
scene  in  pale  amazement  and  trembling 
impotency  ?  It  would  be  the  consum- 
mation of  infatuation,  and  the  precursor 
of  ruin.  Nothing  is  impracticable  for 
the  preservation  of  our  liberty  and  na- 
tional prosperity  ivhich  ought  to  be  done, 
and  nothing  can  ruin  us  but  presump- 
tuous negligence  or  faintness  of  heart. 
But  we  must  act,  and  act  quickly,  and 
with  decision,  or  the  stream  will  be  too 
deep  and  mighty  to  be  regulated,  and 
will  undermine  foundations  and  sweep 
away  landmarks,  and  roll  the  tide  of 
desolation  over  us.  Nor  can  the  pa- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  177 

triotic  solicitude  of  the  people,  and  the 
states,  and  the  nation,  be  brought  to 
bear  on  this  subject,  immediately,  to 
the  extent  of  our  political  wisdom  and 
practical  energy,  and  not  mitigate  the 
evil,  and  avert  the  danger.  But  our 
past  utter  neglect  on  this  subject,  is  as 
wonderful  as  the  carefulness  of  the 
nations  of  the  continent.  Not  an  indi- 
vidual from  this  country  can  traverse 
Europe  without  the  inspection  of  a  host 
of  spies  and  police  agents,  who  make 
his  person,  character,  and  business,  as 
well  known  to  the  government  as  they 
are  known  to  himself,  and  no  small 
portion  of  this  vigilance  is  for  the  pur- 
pose of  precluding  the,  possibility  of  any 
political  republican  action,  adverse  to 
their  institutions.  While  we,  around 
the  entire  circumference  of  our  nation, 
leave  wide  opened  the  door  of  entrance, 
and  all  the  vital  energies  of  our  institu- 
tions, accessible  to  any  influence  which 


178  DR.  BEECHER'S 

the  anti-republican  governments  of  Eu- 
rope may  choose  to  thrust  in  upon  us. 
Do  these  governments  indulge  a  vain 
fear  in  thus  environing  the  political  in- 
fluence of  Americans,  though  only  tem- 
porary residents,  and  even  wayfaring 
men?  And  have  we  nothing  to  appre- 
hend while  European  paupers  flood  us, 
and  Europeans  occupy  the  soil,  rear 
institutions,  wield  the  press,  control 
suffrage,  and  rush  up  rapidly  to  a^com- 
petition  of  numbers  ?  Is  our  government 
so  compact  and  iron-sinewed  as  to  bid 
defiance,  safely,  to  every  possible  dis- 
turbing influence  from  abroad,  which 
can  be  made  to  bear  upon  it  7  Ought 
there  not  to  be  a  governmental  super- 
vision of  the  subject  of  immigration, 
which  shall  place  before  the  nation, 
annually,  the  number  and  general  cha- 
racter of  immigrants,  that  the  whole 
subject  may  experience  the  animadver- 
sion of  an  enlightened  public  sentiment, 


PLEA    FOR   THE   WEST.  179 

and  the  voice  of  the  people  aid  in  the 
application  of  the  remedy? 

We  entered  upon  the  experiment  of 
self-government,  when  a  homogenous 
people,  with  diffidence,  and  multiplied 
checks,  and  balances  in  our  constitution, 
and  have  watched  and  encountered, 
with  decision  and  care,  the  dangers  de- 
veloped in  the  progress  of  its  adminis- 
tration ;  but  why  should  there  be  such 
vigilance  to  guard  our  institutions  from 
domestic  perils,  and  such  reckless  impro- 
vidence in  exposing  them,  unwatched, 
to  the  most  powerful  adverse  influence 
which  can  be  brought  to  bear  upon 
them  from  abroad? 

In  respect  to  the  Catholic  religion, 
and  its  political  bearings,  there  is  an 
obvious  and  safe  course.  It  is  the  me- 
dium between  denunciation  and  impli- 
cit confidence,  between  persecution  and 
indiscriminate  charity.  It  includes  a 
thorough  knowledge  of  the  principles, 


DR.  BEECHER'S 

history,  and  present  conduct  of  the 
papal  church,  where  its  power  is  unob- 
structed. To  this  end,  a  book  is  emi- 
nently needed,  containing  the  authentic 

documents  of  the  Catholic  church,  ac- 

* 

cessible  to  ministers  and  intelligent  lay- 
men of  all  denominations.  These  now 
are  scattered  through  massy  folios,  or 
quoted  in  versatile  discussions,  and 
cannot  be  readily  appealed  to  or  con- 
sulted. A  book  of  well  authenticated 
documents,  without  note  or  comment, 
would  nearly  supersede  the  necessity 
of  controversy,  and  afford  ample  mate- 
rial for  public  sentiment  to  act  upon, 
which,  while  it  would  not  encroach 
on  the  rights  of  Catholics,  would,  by 
no  means,  confide  to  their  care  the 
education  of  large  and  influential  por- 
tions of  our  republic.  A  book  of  this 
description  would  not  be  invidious. 
If  the  Catholic  system  does  not  con- 
tain principles  and  usages  adverse  to 


PLEA    FOR    THE   WEST.  181 

free  institutions,  it  would  clear  it  of  un- 
merited odium ;  and  if  it  does  contain 
such  principles  it  is  the  right  and  duty 
of  the  nation  to  know  it.  There  is 
nothing  in  Catholic  more  than  in  Pro- 
testant human  nature,  to  demand  im- 
plicit confidence,  or  preclude  investiga- 
tion and  vigilance.  No  denomination 
of  Christians,  and  no  class  of  politi- 
cians, are  so  good  as  to  justify  implicit 
confidence,  or  supersede  the  necessity 
of  being  watched.  Responsibility  to  an 
enlightened  public  sentiment  is  the  only 
effectual  guarantee  of  unperverted  lib- 
erty and  political  prosperity. 

But  to  a  correct  and  universal  obser- 
vation must  be  added  efficient  universal 
action,  to  rear  up,  immediately,  those 
institutions,  literary  and  religious,  which 
are  indispensable  to  the  intellectual  and 
moral  culture  of  the  nation.  Our  own 
population  is  fast  outrunning  the  influ- 
ence of  Christian  and  literary  institu- 
16 


182  DR.  BEECHER'S 

tions ;  and  if  to  us  republicans  it  seems 
evil  to  supply  them — if  it  grieves  us  to 
encounter  the  expense  of  maintaining 
the  discipline  which  is  necessary  to  the 
perpetuity  of  government  in  our  way, 
we  have  no  cause  to  complain  that  the 
powers  of  Europe  should  extend  to  us 
a  gratuitous  education,  which  shall  en- 
able them  to  avert  the  annoyance  of  our 
example,  and  govern  us  their  way.  If 
we  do  not  provide  the  schools  which 
are  requisite  for  the  cheap  and  effectual 
education  of  the  children  of  the  nation, 
it  is  perfectly  certain  that  the  Catholic 
powers  of  Europe  intend  to  make  up 
the  deficiency,  and  there  is  no  reason 
to  doubt  that  they  will  do  it,  until  by 
immigration  and  Catholic  education  we 
become  to  such  an  extent  a  Catholic 
nation,  that,  with  their  peculiar  power 
of  acting  as  one  body,  they  will  become 
the  predominant  power  of  the  nation, 
or  if  not  predominant,  sufficient  to  em- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  183 

barrass  our  republican  movements,  by 
the  easy  access  and  powerful  action  of 
foreign  influence  and  intrigue.  We 
have  no  right  to  complain  that  the  Cath- 
olics of  this  country,  aided  from  Europe, 
should  seek  to  accomplish  a  work 
which  we  neglect, — and  we  do  not  com- 
plain either  of  his  holiness  of  Rome  or 
of  his  majesty  of  Austria,  or  his  wily 
minister  Metternich.  They  pursue  the 
policy  in  supplying  our  deficiency  of  ed- 
ucation, which,  with  their  views  of  right 
and  self-preservation,  they  ought  to 
pursue,  and  the  Catholics  in  this  coun- 
try have  a  perfect  right  to  gather  funds 
from  Europe  to  purchase  lands — rear  ca- 
thedrals— multiply  churches — and  sus- 
tain immigrant  ministers,  and  to  sustain 
the  unendowed  bishoprics  for  fifty  years 
to  come,  and  establish  nunneries,  and 
support  the  sisterhood,  and  establish 
cheap  and  even  gratuitous  education 
amid  all  the  destitute  portions  of  our 


184 

land.  They  have  a  right  to  do  it.  and. 
according  to  their  principles,  they  ought 
to  do  it,  and  they  are  doing  it,  and  they 
will  do  it,  unless  as  a  nation  of  repub- 
licans, jealous  of  our  liberties,  and 
prompt  to  sustain  them  by  a  thorough 
intellectual  and  religious  culture  as 
.well  as  by  the  sword,  we  arise,  all  de- 
nominations and  all  political  parties, 
to  the  work  of  national  education. 

"  The  sole  object  of  this  argument 
touching  the  Catholics  is  not  to  repu- 
didate  them,  but  to  present  the  facts  in 
the  case,  and  appeal  to  the  nation, 
whether  it  will  sustain  its  own  institu- 
tions for  the  education  of  its  own  peo- 
ple, or  depend  on  the  charity  of  the 
Catholic  despotic  governments  of  Eu- 
rope. I  do  it  because  when  the  facts 
are  stated,  and  the  eye  of  the  nation  is 
fixed  on  the  subject,  unless  infatuation 
has  fastened  on  us,  there  can  be  no 
doubt  of  the  result.  Education,  intel- 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  185 

lectual  and  religious,  is  the  point  on 
which  turns  our  destiny,  of  terrestrial 
glory  and  power,  or  of  shame  and  ever- 
lasting contempt,  and  short  is  the  period 
of  our  probation.  Indolence  and  neglect 
will  soon  extend  over  the  land  the  la- 
mentation, "  The  harvest  is  past,  the 
summer  is  ended,  and  we  are  not  saved." 
The  things  which  belong  to  our  peace 
are  now  before  our  eyes,  and  our  suf- 
ficiency to  secure  them  is  vast  and  man- 
ifold. As  a  nation  we  are  disincum- 
bered  of  debt,  and  from  our  perilous 
resources  might  at  once  make  provi- 
sions to  endow  forever  the  colleges, 
academies,  and  schools  of  the  land. 
Each  state,  alone,  is  able  to  endow  its 
own  institutions,  and  were  all  legisla- 
tive provision  withheld,  there  are  in  the 
nation  individuals  of  sufficient  wealth 
and  patriotism,  and  munificence,  when 
they  perceive  the  perils  and  the  safe- 
guards of  our  liberty,  to  call  into  being 
16* 


186 


DR.    BEECHER  S 


all  those  orbs  of  light  which  are  indis- 
pensable to  the  safety  and  perpetuity 
of  our  institutions.  And  were  even 
those  unmindful  of  their  privilege  and 
duty,  a  republican  phalanx,  such  as 
once  fought  the  battles  and  paid  the 
taxes  of  the  revolutionary  war,  would 
now  command  institutions  for  the  de- 
fence of  liberty  to  arise,  as  their  fathers 
did  the  forts  and  munitions  of  their 
day.  Every  denomination  would  or- 
ganize its  willing  multitude  to  give  and 
toil  till  intelligence  and  holiness  should 
cover  the  land  as  the  waters  cover  the 
sea.  But  this  various  and  superabun- 
dant ability  and  willingness  of  the  na- 
tion must  be  called  forth  in  plans  of 
peaceable  efficacy — the  means  must  be 
multiplied  of  providing  and  sustaining 
the  requisite  host  of  qualified  instruc- 
tors. Institutions,  male  and  female, 
must  be  endowed  to  secure  cheaply,  the 
requisite  qualification.  The  national 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  187 

intellect  and  morals,  will  never  rise  to 
the  exigencies  of  our  preservation,  ac- 
cidentally, or  spring  up  under  the  hand 
of  ephemeral  and  inexperienced  instruc- 
tors. The  early  culture  of  the  national 
intellect,  and  heart,  is  worthy  of  becom- 
ing' a  profession,  and  must  become  a 
profession,  in  the  hands  of  duly  quali- 
fied men  and  women — embracing  the 
experience  of  the  past,  and  the  accu- 
mulating knowledge  of  coming  gener- 
ations. The  education  of  the  nation — 
the  culture  of  its  intellect — the  forma- 
tion of  its  conscience,  and  the  regula- 
tion of  its  affection,  heart,  and  action, 
is  of  all  others  the  most  important 
work,  and  demands  the  supervision  of 
persons,  of  wise  and  understanding 
hearts — consecrated  to  the  work,  and 
supported  and  highly  honored  in  ac- 
cordance with  their  self-denying,  disin- 
terested, and  indispensable  labors.  It 
is  here  that  we  faulter,  and  that  the 


188  DR.  BEECHER'S 

Catholic  powers  are  determined  to  take 
advantage  of  our  halting — by  thrusting 
in  professional  instructors  and  under- 
bidding us  in  the  cheapness  of  education 
— calculating  that  for  a  morsel  of  meat 
we  shall  sell  our  birth-right.  Ameri- 
cans, republicans,  Christians,  can  you, 
will  you,  for  a  moment,  permit  your  free 
institutions,  blood  bought,  to  be  placed 
in  jeopardy,  for  want  of  the  requisite 
intellectual  and  moral  culture. 

One  thing  more  only  demands  at- 
tention, and  that  is  the  extension  of 
such  intellectual  culture,  and  evangeli- 
cal light  to  the  Catholic  population,  as 
will  supercede  implicit  confidence,  and 
enable  and  incline  them  to  read,  and 
think,  and  act  for  themselves.  They 
are  not  to  be  regarded  as  conspirators 
against  our  liberties,  their  system  com- 
mits its  designs  and  higher  movements, 
like  the  control  of  an  army,  to  a  few 
governing  minds,  while  the  body  of  the 


PLEA    FOR    THE    WEST.  189 

people  may  be  occupied  in  their  execu- 
tion, unconscious  of  their  tendency.  I 
am  aware  of  the  difficulty  of  access, 
but  kindness  and  perseverance  can  ac- 
complish any  thing,  and  wherever  the 
urgency  of  the  necessity  shall  put  in  re- 
quisition the  benevolent  energy  of  this 
Christian  nation — the  work  under  the 
auspices  of  heaven  will  be  done. 

It  is  a  cheering  fact,  also,  that  the 
nation  is  waking  up — a  blind  and  in- 
discriminate charity  is  giving  place  to 
sober  observation,  and  a  Christian  feel- 
ing and  language  towards  Catholics  is 
taking  the  place  of  that  which  was 
petulant,  and  exceptionable.  There  is 
rapidly  extending  a  just  estimate  of 
danger.  Multitudes  who  till  recently 
regarded  all  notices  of  alarm  as  without 
foundation,  are  now  beginning  to  view 
the  subject  correctly,  both  in  respect  to 
the  reality  of  the  danger,  and  the  means 
which  are  necessary  to  avert  it.  and 


190  PLEA    FOR   THE    WEST. 

both  the  religious  and  the  political  pa- 
pers are  beginning  to  lay  aside  the 
language  of  asperity  and  to  speak  the 
words  of  truth  and  soberness.  Under 
such  auspices  we  commit  the  subject  to 
the  guardianship  of  heaven,  and  the 
intelligent  instrumentality  of  our  be- 
loved country. 


X  <